Family Trust– Surcharge Taxes Now In Place

If you own a Family Trust that owns residential land in NSW or intend to purchase residential land and/or premises using your Family Trust, please note that Revenue NSW considers a Family Trust to be automatically subject to the foreign person surcharge on stamp duty and Land Tax.

The surcharge for land tax is 2% above the usual charge of 1.6%.

The surcharge for a foreign Person purchasing land is 8% of the purchase value.

Land Tax is charged every year so it is a particularly penal and unfair provision. It takes the annual land tax charge to 3.6% per year.… Read More

Residential Off-the-plan Contracts

It is said, “The only constant in life is change”. How true, particularly in law where legislation seems to be constantly changing.

For those of you who are looking to develop residential property or purchase new residential property you need to be aware of the new requirements which came into effect on 1 December 2019.

A developer is now required to provide a Disclosure Statement which should be attached to the Contract.

The Disclosure Statement needs to include:-

• A draft plan of the property prepared by a Registered Surveyor showing the lot number, location and area;
• A draft floor plan and location plan of the property;
• Any proposed bylaws, development Contract (including strata development contract) and management statement; and
• Schedule of finishes to be included in the property.… Read More

The Simultaneous Settlement: Selling & Purchasing Property at the same time

So, you have sold your property and have decided to purchase another. It may sound simple, however the process can be rather cumbersome and there are various matters which require your careful consideration. For instance, should your purchase Contract be made conditional upon your sale? Do you have a cash deposit available for your purchase or are you relying on your sale proceeds? Can you obtain early access to your purchase property to ensure vacant possession of your sale property is provided on settlement?

The Conditional Contract:
If you are relying on your sale proceeds for your purchase, it is important to make your purchase Contract conditional upon completion of your sale.… Read More

Ending a Residential Tenancy – from the Landlord’s perspective.

There are strict rules that apply when a Landlord wants to bring a residential tenancy to an end.

A termination notice must be provided to the tenant. This notice must be in writing, addressed to the tenant, signed and dated by you or your managing agent, provide the date the tenancy is to be terminated and the tenant needs to vacate and in some circumstances provide the reason for the notice.

In some circumstances there is no minimum notice period for the tenant – for example if the tenant dies, the property becomes uninhabitable or is destroyed, is being compulsorily acquired (for example by Council) or is not legally usable as a residence.… Read More

When does bank finance “approval” mean approved?

You’ve been saving hard and have the deposit to purchase your first home. You’ve looked at many houses and finally found the one. You’ve made an offer through the real estate agent and your offer has been accepted by the vendor.

You organise your pest and building reports. You know your finance is arranged as you’ve been pre-approved by your chosen lender. WRONG!

A pre-approval of finance from a lender is only an “indication” of the amount the lender considers you may borrow based on your previous financial circumstances. Until you receive written confirmation of finance approval from your lender noting the details of the house you intend to purchase and sign a loan contract, the lender is under no obligation to provide you with finance.… Read More

Do Restrictive Covenants on Land Restrict Development?

Quite often, land developers place restrictive covenants on land. For example the restrictive covenant be that: the land shall only be used for residential purposes, the buildings must be of a certain size or of a certain material or type of construction or design.
Are these restrictive covenants enforceable? The answer is sometimes yes and sometimes no.
Let’s take another example. If you purchase land in a subdivision which contains a restrictive covenant that permits the erection of a single residential building only, can you legally erect a multiple occupancy dwelling such as a duplex or triplex?
Despite what most people think, if the Local Government zoning laws permit multiple occupancies and a Development Consent to build multiple occupancies is granted by the Local Council, then the Council’s Development Consent overrides the restrictive covenant on the land.… Read More

Ending a Residential Tenancy – from the Tenants perspective

To bring a tenancy to an end you must provide written notice to the landlord or managing agent, in a specific timeframe depending on your situation.
When your fixed term is ending – if you want to leave at the end of your fixed term lease you need to give the landlord at least 14 days’ notice. You can provide this notice at any time up to the very last day of your fixed term.
If your fixed term has already ended – if you have continued to rent the premises, say on a week to week or month to month basis, you need to give the landlord at least 21 days’ notice.… Read More

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