Property Law/Conveyancing

Our very experienced conveyancing staff Aundrea, Natalie and Debbie, in conjunction with Rodney conduct our busy conveyancing practice.

We handle the purchases and sales of all types of properties, including:

  • Residential homes;
  • Residential blocks of land, including subdivisional blocks bought prior to plan approval;
  • Industrial blocks of land;
  • Rural blocks of land;
  • Farms;
  • Commercial buildings;
  • Apartments, including those purchased off the plan; and
  • Motels.

Purchases in general

The general procedures involved in a purchase are well known. But traps and dangers still abound. Matters which require attention before a contract is signed include:
  • ensuring all buildings are structurally sound; we recommend all clients obtain a pre-purchase inspection from a qualified builder;
  • checking that there is a building permit and final inspection with respect to all constructions. Surprisingly often, there isn’t;
  • ascertaining the position of all sewer mains. Occasionally these can be in a position which completely stymies future construction or development. Sometimes a home can be the subject of a combined operation, along with one or more other properties;
  • ensuring that the physical measurements of the property, including the connecting distance to the nearest intersecting street, match those on the title plan;
  • making sure there is an adequate finance clause and that the settlement date is achievable;
  • with respect to vacant land, ensuring that the purchasers proposed construction is permitted under planning law;
  • where there is a restrictive covenant, ensuring it has been complied with.

Sales in General

Again, the processes are well understood. But again there are a number of aspects to be wary of, which include:

  • ensuring that the section 32 statement is complete and accurate in all respects. Matters such as the location of a sewer main, building permits in the previous seven years and combined drains cannot be overlooked. If the section 32 Statement is incorrect or inaccurate, the purchaser may be able to withdraw from the contract prior to settlement; and
  • critically, the owner–builder laws. These are widely misunderstood. In brief, where there has been any building work at all, however minor, in the previous 6.5 years, it will be deemed to be owner-builder work unless there is a building permit showing the name of a registered builder. For example, where a building permit was not required and a registered builder has carried out the work, it is still owner-builder work. Where that is the case first, an owner builder report must be attached to the contract; second, if the work has a value of over $16,000, warranty insurance must be obtained. If these requirements are not complied with, a purchaser can at any time prior to settlement withdraw from the transaction and demand the return of the deposit. This is the case even if the purchaser has indicated initially they do not care. For more information see our client booklet relating to this work.
  • ensuring that the contract complies with GST law.

Other property transactions

Other one-off transactions which tend to come up in our practice include:
  • gifts of the above types of property; 
  • transfers from the trustee of a discretionary trust to a beneficiary;
  • transfers to superannuation funds;
  • transfers from a trustee of a superannuation fund to a beneficiary;
  • transfers by way of partition.