Rural Land Contracts – Search Before You Sign

RHGWhen buying a rural property, it pays to do your homework. Rural conveyancing is a complex area in which purchasers need to take care to ensure they know exactly what they are buying.

The general principle of “caveat emptor” – buyer beware – applies to all land purchases, but has particular significance for rural properties. Not only is a farm a home, but also a business. Failure on the part of a purchaser to adequately investigate the property can have not only functional implications, but often monetary consequences too.

It is generally advisable for purchasers to conduct pre-purchase searches or enquiries prior to entering into the contract – once contracts are exchanged, the purchaser is locked into the deal and it will be too late to withdraw if a problem arises.… Read More

Yours, Mine and Ours

Lesley McDonnellPurchasing property can be both an exciting and daunting experience. Exciting because on the one hand you have found the property you have been searching for and you start dreaming of what you will do to transform the house into your home. In what can seem like the daunting side to your property purchase is the point at which you first lay eyes on the contract for sale of land. The contract requires you to make some important decisions. When you purchase property with your spouse or partner, you must decide how you will buy the property together. You can purchase either as joint tenants or as tenants in common.

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BYO Device

jmhIt is becoming more common for employers to be asked by employees to connect their personal devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets to the employers’ IT systems. The convenience, flexibility and potential productivity gains make allowing an employee to ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) appealing.

However the use of BYOD, including in non-work hours, can present a number of risks for employers, if the arrangements are left unmanaged.

Factors to consider with BYOD arrangements

Employers need to consider whether it is appropriate to allow employees to access work systems from a personal device which may not have the security, and controls that company devices have.… Read More

Forcing the Sale of My Property

MKG-newWhat can I do if I own a property with somebody else and I am the only one who wants to sell it?

Section 66G of the Conveyancing Act 1919 provides that where any property is owned by more than one person, one of the parties, who owns at least 50%, can approach the court and seek orders that trustees be appointed and for the property to be sold.

The money would then be held by the trustee and distributed in accordance with any orders of the court.

The court will generally only refuse an application for a sale pursuant to section 66G under special circumstances. … Read More

Is GST Payable on a Residential Purchase if the Proposed Use is Commercial?

TRIn a recent full Federal Court decision, a New South Wales property developer purchased a single story house, intending to develop it into units for use other than for residential accommodation. At the time of settlement the home was occupied by a tenant. The developer adopted the view that the sale was a taxable supply because it was his intention to develop the land into commercial units and consequently claimed a tax credit from the ATO.

The ATO took a different view.

The GST legislation provides that the supply of property is not subject to GST if the premises are to be used predominantly for residential accommodation.… Read More