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

Should you accept a lesser deposit?

When selling your property, it is usual for a purchaser to pay 10% of the purchase price as a deposit for the property. This money is usually held by the Real Estate Agent and under the standard conditions of the Contract can be recovered by Vendor if the Purchaser defaults on the Contract.

However, it is becoming increasingly more popular for Purchasers to ask if you will accept a 5% deposit or sometimes even less.

So what happens if you accept a lesser deposit?

Most of the time, the transaction is completed as normal and the money that would have been held as a deposit is simply paid to the Vendor at settlement.… Read More

Irrigation Users – No Meter, No Pump – Alex Long

Changes to the law in NSW has implemented a no meter, no pump policy under the Water Reform Action Plan.  Greater penalties now exist for Water Licence holders who do not comply with the obligation to install a properly working meter.

Under the plan, it will be an offence for Water Licence holders to:

  • Fail to comply with the conditions of a Water Licence or works approval which requires the installation of a meter;
  • Fail to install metering equipment when required;
  • Take water from a metered water supply work if the meter is not working properly;
  • Interfere with, damage, destroy or disconnect any metering equipment; or
  • Fail to keep the required metering records.
Read More

Don’t be late! The consequences of not completing a Property Contract on time. – Katie Cook

In every Contract there is a set time for Completion, or ‘Settlement’ as it is often called. The time for Completion can be a set number of days or weeks after exchange takes place (eg 42 days or 6 weeks), or a set time after another event takes place (eg 14 days after a plan or subdivision has been registered).

Completion or Settlement is essentially when the Purchaser hands over their money and takes title to the property.

It is crucial that a purchaser in a property transaction is aware of the date that Completion is due under the Contract, as there are serious consequences when Completion doesn’t take place on time.… Read More

Water Crisis NSW – how temporary restrictions affect your WAL or Approval. – Alex Long

Despite the recent rainfall received in the area, there has not been any significant inflows into the state’s water storages.  On 31 March 2019, the Minister for Regional Water made an order for temporary water restrictions under Section 324 of the Water Management Act 2000 (the Act).

Under Section 324, the Minister has the authority to order temporary water restrictions within a water source for a specified period if those restrictions are determined to be in the public interest. Under Section 324(1), public interest includes “to cope with a water shortage, threat to public health or safety or to manage water for environmental purposes”.… Read More

You’ve Decided To Sell Your Home – What Now? – Terry Robinson

Before you can advertise a residential property for sale you are required by law to have a copy of the Contract available for prospective Purchasers to inspect. This is required whether you propose to sell through a Real Estate Agent or privately.

To enable a Contract to be prepared you should contact your Solicitor or Conveyancer as soon as possible to avoid delays in getting the Contract prepared.

Legislation sets out various documents and certificates that are required to be attached to the Contract, failure to attach these could potentially give the Purchaser a right to get out of the Contract after Contracts have exchanged.… Read More

Can I Change the Purchaser’s Name on a Land Contract?

This is an often asked question. Typically, someone will have bought a property at auction in their own name, or from an off-the-plan development and then decide they want to buy the property in the name of their spouse or some other entity like their super fund.

The decision to change names often happens after they have discussed the purchase with their accountant and/or solicitor and things like asset planning and estate planning are raised.

Most people seem to think they can simply change the “purchaser” on the contract by inserting the words “or nominee”.

That process in most cases will not work and will result in you paying double Stamp Duty.… Read More

Phone, Wallet, Keys… Don’t Forget Your Pre-Purchase Inspections!

A Contract for the sale and purchase of property includes conditions stating that the purchaser accepts the property in its current condition and state of repair subject to all defects both obvious and hidden. You might have heard the saying “let the buyer beware”.

As a result, purchasers have an extremely limited right to complain after exchange of Contracts regarding the quality of the improvements and inclusions. Improvements include the structures on the property, for instance the house, shed, etc.  Inclusions are usually movable items included in the sale, for instance the blinds, stove, air conditioner, etc.  Purchasers should undertake thorough inspections of the property and the inclusions prior to exchange of Contracts, which is when the parties are formally bound by the Contract terms. … 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