Property Law & Conveyancing
Our property law team can not only deal with the day to day transactions of purchases and sales, but are also highly experienced in various types of other property transactions. From large subdivisions to off the plan purchases to adverse possession issues, our solicitors are able to assist you in the process no matter how simple or complex.
The types of matters we can assist you with are:
- Sale & purchase of residential and commercial properties
- Preparation of Contracts and Vendor Statements
- General Conveyancing (transfers of title, lodgment of caveats)
- Off-the-plan property advice
- Property & contract disputes
- Owners corporation matters
- Small and large scale subdivisions
To get you started, we have answered some questions that are commonly raised with our solicitors about property transactions.
Q: Who can do conveyancing?
You can seek conveyancing services from:
- A solicitor; or
- A licensed conveyancer.
A conveyancer is a licensed professional who is trained to handle the transfer of property ownership from one person to another. They are limited in the types of professional legal advice they can give.
A solicitor who practices in property law is a licensed legal professional who has particular knowledge about all types of property matters, not just the legal process involved in the transfer of property ownership from one person to another. A solicitor can provide you with a more comprehensive legal service when assisting you with your property law matter.
While your property law matter may seem simple at first, you may find that there are serious legal consequences for you and your family if your matter is not dealt with comprehensively
Q: What is stamp duty?
Stamp duty is a tax levied by state or territory governments on certain property transactions, including buying a home, land or investment property. The amount of stamp duty charged varies depending on where the transaction takes place and the value of the property.
Stamp duty is payable on most property transactions, with certain exceptions (such as a transfer to a spouse as part of a property settlement upon the breakdown of a marriage) and there are certain circumstances where stamp duty concessions apply.
Q: What is a “Cooling Off Period”?
A cooling off period is a specified time after the signing of a Contract of Sale where a Purchaser has the right to end the contract and walk away from the transaction without requiring a reason to do so. In Victoria, the cooling off period is usually three clear business days. Should you choose to end the Contract during the cooling off period, you are entitled to a refund of all the money you paid except for 100.00 or 0.2% of the purchase price (whichever is more). However, note that there are certain exceptions that do not allow a cooling off period, for example where you purchased the property at a publicly advertised auction or where the property is a commercial or industrial property
Q: What is a Vendor Statement and why is it important?
Vendor statements are also sometimes referred to as a “Section 32” and are documents that tell potential buyers what they need to know about a property. It is given to the purchaser prior to signing the Contract of Sale and the information required under a Section 32 / Vendor’s Statement refers to those things that may not necessarily be made immediately apparent during an inspection. This can include, for example:
- A statement of the Title and a copy of the plan;
- Encumbrances on the property (mortgages, caveats, etc.),
- Easements and Covenants
- Zoning allocations and dangers (flood-prone or bushfire prone land);
- Whether there are any VicRoads or Council proposals for the land;
- Building conditions and notices,
- Information of the Owners Corporation
- The services that are connected and supplied to the land outgoings, owners corporations, and leases.
It’s a vital part of the buying and selling process and there are implications for both the vendor and purchaser if they are not prepared properly.
As a vendor, an incorrectly prepared or insufficient Section 32 can allow the purchaser to cancel the contract and have their deposit refunded, even if the cooling-off period has expired and the contract has been signed.
For a purchaser, not having a proper Vendor Statement in hand or not having it reviewed can mean that they are unaware of significant issues with the purchase.
Q: What is an ELNO?
An Electronic Lodgment Network Operator (ELNO) is an entity which has been approved by the relevant Registrar to provide and operate an Electronic Lodgment Network (ELN). Essentially, ELNs are the national online systems on which most property transactions are now required to take place.
Currently, PEXA is the primary ELN platform being used and you’ll hear this term used frequently when you speak to your conveyancer or property lawyer about your transaction.
The benefit of an ELN such as PEXA is that it allows for the settlement of the transaction to take place without the need to physically be there.
Previously, conveyancing transactions had “settlement agents” which had to physically attend to handover documents; If a cheque was wrong or a document needed to be amended, settlement may not have been able to complete and significant issues arose. With the use of PEXA, many processes can now be done instantaneously, and settlements can “roll-over” to the next time slot if an issue arises causing a brief delay. Title particulars can be checked and matched up against those of the Land Titles Office electronically and after settlement has been completed, registration of the change in title takes place immediately and with the transfer occurring in as little as 10 minutes.