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

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