Are you renting out your property and need a plumber?

If you are renting out your property, your property is likely to need maintenance from time to time. You may consider a handyman or woman to do the “easy jobs” like replacing tap washers or taps, repairing or replacing leaking toilets and cisterns as a good low cost alternative to engaging a licensed contractor.

However, when hiring someone to do any plumbing work, you must make sure they hold a current licence.  Only a qualified and licensed plumber and/or drainer can legally undertake repairs such as but not limited to:-

  • Replacing tap washes or taps
  • Repairing or replacing leaking toilets and cisterns
  • Repairing or replacing a hot water service
  • Repairing water leaks
  • Clearing or repairing blocked sewer lines

Any person doing plumbing repairs for a payment who is not suitably licensed is breaking the law and can be fined $1,100.00.… Read More

What is probate and when do I need it? – Suzanne Hindmarsh

A Grant of Probate is a document issued by the Supreme Court that acknowledges the validity of the deceased’s Will and authorises the Executor/s to administer the Estate.

Whether or not Probate is required depends on the nature and value of the deceased’s assets.

If the deceased held land in their sole name or as tenants in common with another, Probate will be required.

Financial institutions, superannuation funds, aged care facilities and share registries may also require Probate for larger investments before they will allow those assets to be dealt with. Generally, such institutions will require Probate if the amount held with them is greater than $50,000.00.… Read More

The implications of incorrectly spelling your name!!

SMHQuite often I come across sellers, testators and mortgagors wherein their names are incomplete or otherwise different from their identification documents (ID) i.e. driver’s licence, passport, birth certificate and marriage certificate (if applicable).

The spelling of your name is critical when preparing any legal documents for example your Will, Power of Attorney, Appointment of Enduring Guardian, sale and purchase of land contracts, mortgages and transferring shares.

These discrepancies can result in delays finalising your property transaction, in some cases breach of contract, issues with selling your shares and can result in increased transaction costs, delay and frustration.

There are many reasons for the inconsistencies, however the most common are:-

  1. Anglicised names (which buyers/sellers/shareholders may commonly go by in day to day life) are not always the same names as reflected on their legal ID documents
  2. Marriage (or breakdown of marriage) where the seller has changed their name since purchasing the property or shares
  3. Missing middle names, which buyer/seller/shareholder may not use all the time, accidently being omitted from the legal documents i.e.
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What is Electronic Conveyancing? Suzanne Hindmarsh

SMHAs some of you may be aware, land transactions have been moving over to an electronic platform called PEXA. This involves the settlement and registration of a land transaction into the new owners and mortgagee’s name, instantaneously on settlement.

It is anticipated that by 1 July 2019, electronic settlements will be compulsory in NSW.

All paper titles of land held by about 150 banks were converted to electronic certificates of title called eCT’s in September this year. The conversion of the titles was undertaken by the banks and other financial institutions, the NSW Land Registry Services and the legal and conveyancing peak bodies with many people working behind the scenes for months.… Read More

The deceased estate time line – Suzanne Hindmarsh

I’m frequently asked what steps need to be taken when someone dies and how long will it take?

SMHThe usual steps are:-

  • Evidence of death is required. In most cases, this is a death/funeral notice published in the local newspaper.
  • The death certificate is required. This certificate takes about 4 – 6 weeks to be issued by Births Deaths Marriages and provided to the executor/Estate’s solicitor.
  • The funeral account can be paid from the deceased’s bank account if sufficient funds are available.
  • We advise the relevant asset/liability holders of the death and provide certified copies of the death certificate. They provide us with details of the deceased’s accounts and their requirements to release the assets/liabilities of the Estate.
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What happens after exchange of Property Contracts? – Suzanne Hindmarsh

SMHThis is a question commonly asked by both buyers and sellers. Exchange occurs when a seller and buyer enter into a legally binding contract with each other.  For a residential property, the following list explains some of the actions required after exchange.

For a buyer:

  • We prepare the transfer electronically. This allows the land to be transferred from the seller to the buyer after settlement.
  • We prepare Requisitions on Title. This is a set of questions about the land title the seller is required to answer for the buyer.
  • We order searches which may include some of the following: Council rates enquiry, State Rail Authority enquiry and Roads and Maritime Services enquiry.
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Is your strata property window safety device compliant? – Suzanne Hindmarsh

SMHAs of 13 March 2018 for the prevention of children falling from windows, strata schemes must have window safety devices installed on all applicable windows. If window safety devices are not installed by this date, owner corporations may face fines.

Which windows must be covered?  Any openable window where the internal floor is more than 2 metres above the outside ground level and being a window that is less than 1.7 metres above the inside floor level. For example, where a lounge room is on the second floor with a large window taking up most of the external wall. This will need a window safety device on this window.… Read More

Final Inspections – Suzanne Hindmarsh

SMHPurchasing real estate – is a final inspection necessary?

A final inspection is arranged by a purchaser with a Real Estate Agent to inspect a property prior to completion.  The purpose of this inspection is to ensure the improvements and inclusions have not been damaged or removed since contracts were exchanged and the property has been left in a clean and tidy condition.

There have been instances where improvements and inclusions have been removed, damage has occurred due to vandalism or removalists, or the property has been left in an unsightly and dirty condition.  A purchaser has very little recourse once completion (i.e.… Read More

Identification requirement for purchasers of land – Suzanne Hindmarsh

SMHIf you wish to purchase land you are required under the Duties Act 1997 to complete a Purchaser/s Declaration. This Declaration is completed by each person entering into a transaction that results in the acquisition of an interest in land in New South Wales.

The purpose of this Declaration is:-

* Commonwealth Reporting Requirements is to collect and report to the Australian     Taxation Office information on transfers of land in NSW;

* Surcharge Purchaser Duty is to inform the Duties Office whether a transaction is subject to surcharge purchaser duty; and

* Surcharge Land Tax is to identify foreign persons for surcharge land tax purposes.… Read More

Identification Requirements for Property Transactions – Suzanne Hindmarsh

SMHAre you wanting to sell or buy land in NSW?  From 1 May 2016, the NSW Land and Property Information (LPI) under Section 12E Conveyancing Rules of the Real Property Act 1900, announced the Verification of Identity Standards (VOI Standards) will be applied to all land transactions. Without a VOI you cannot buy or sell land.

Verification of Identity (VOI) is a process to identify a party/parties to a conveyancing transaction. The VOI framework has been introduced to reduce fraud and improper land dealings.

So what does this mean for you if you are selling or buying property in NSW? When you visit your solicitor/conveyancer, you will need to provide original up-to-date identification documents to enable your solicitor/conveyancer to take reasonable steps to identify you when acting on your behalf in a property transaction.… Read More