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Wisewould Mahony Lawyers

Office Address
Level 8
419 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Australia

Postal Address
PO Box 239
Collins Street West
Melbourne VIC 8007
DX 470


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Property

Is FRCGW an Example of Onomatopoeia? Only if You Say it Fast

The introduction of the foreign resident capital gains tax withholding regime (FRCGW), which came into operation on 1 July 2016, created much nervousness amongst property lawyers. It obliged purchasers of property worth $2,000,000 or more to withhold 10% of the purchase price from settlement proceeds, and remit these funds to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) immediately following settlement, unless the vendor had provided a clearance certificate evidencing that they were not a foreign resident.

Am I a Real Estate Agent or a Valuer?

Am I a Real Estate Agent or a Valuer? Neither, I’m a property lawyer! That was a trick question.

Whilst I’m pretty comfortable about the skills I’m expected to bring to my job, after the latest round of changes to the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Vic) (“Estate Agents Act”), Victorian real estate agents might be forgiven for wondering if the critical elements of their vocation have suddenly quite fundamentally changed. It would appear that real estate agents now need to start behaving more like professional property valuers.

Stamp Duty - What One Hand Giveth, the Other Taketh Away

The Victorian Government announced this month that it was abolishing stamp duty for first home buyers signing contracts from 1 July 2017. The fine print revealed that stamp duty for first home buyers wasn’t really being abolished, but that a purchase by a first home buyer would be exempt from stamp duty where the property was valued at less than $600,000. Stamp duty would also be reduced for purchased properties valued at between $600,000 and $750,000.

Solicitor-Introduced Mortgage Investments

Many solicitors in Victoria have long been affiliated with mortgage investment businesses, which businesses can provide opportunities for their clients to make investments which are secured by registered first mortgages over Australian real estate. Unfortunately for those clients, the Legal Profession Uniform Law now seeks to prevent solicitors from introducing their clients to affiliated mortgage practices.

I want my Certificate of Title!!!

Over the last 12 months, many property owners would have discovered that it has become somewhat more difficult to obtain their Certificate/s of Title from their solicitor (where a valid paper title still exists). They may also have experienced difficulties or delays in transferring their paper title from one firm of solicitors to another.

When is your Agent not your Agent? When they’re your Real Estate Agent!

The decision handed down by Justice Cameron on 11 March 2016, in the Victorian Supreme Court matter of Tan v Russell [2016] VSC 93, had many property lawyers scratching their heads. Her Honour ultimately found that the service of a termination notice (or a “cooling off notice”) on the real estate agent appointed by a vendor, was not service upon the vendor’s “agent” for the purposes of section 31 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic).

Verification of Identity is not just for "conveyancing"

On 30 September 2015, the “Registrar’s requirements for paper conveyancing transactions” was published pursuant to section 106A of the Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic) (“Registrar’s Requirements”). These new requirements imposed “verification of identity” obligations on all legal practitioners acting in “conveyancing transactions”, which obligations took effect on 9 November 2015. Unfortunately what constituted a “conveyancing transaction” for the purposes of the Registrar’s Requirements was not well understood.

Where have all the titles gone?

Many solicitors in Victoria have long been affiliated with mortgage investment businesses, which businesses can provide opportunities for their clients to make investments which are secured by registered first mortgages over Australian real estate. Unfortunately for those clients, the Legal Profession Uniform Law now seeks to prevent solicitors from introducing their clients to affiliated mortgage practices.

Costs orders in hopeless proceedings

Costs orders are being awarded against applicants bringing hopeless proceedings before VCAT.

E-Conveyancing

Solicitors and conveyancers can now utilise e-conveyancing on behalf of their clients.

E-conveyancing is a means of conducting settlements online and parties exchange documents and cheques electronically through the PEXA network without leaving the office.

Rent reviews under the Retail Leases Act

Is your rent up for review? Rent reviews may cause costly disputes if not done correctly.