Conveyancing & Property
Buying or selling real estate is likely one of the biggest financial transactions most people make in their lifetime. Getting advice from an experienced property lawyer can make all the difference to ensure that your purchase or sale goes smoothly.
While property law is often associated with conveyancing, it also covers a range of other matters such as internal (family) property transfers, commercial leasing, and property development and subdivision.
We can help with all your conveyancing and property law needs.
Selling Property in Victoria
Once you have decided to sell your property, you will need to have a contract and vendor’s statement (section 32 statement) prepared. The contract includes the terms and conditions of the sale and details about the property, you, your agent, your lawyer, and other information like the items to be included in the sale, and the deposit required.
The section 32 statement includes additional information about the property such as any mortgages or easements affecting its title, the zoning, details of rates, and other important notices. If the property is an apartment or townhouse, you will also need to include an owner’s corporation certificate.
Both the contract and section 32 statement are legal documents and must contain accurate information.
If you receive an offer for the property, and you accept, it is common practice for the purchaser to pay a deposit. Sometimes, once an offer is accepted, the purchaser will have a building or pest inspection carried out. Depending on the outcome of any inspections, this can lead to some negotiating on price.
Once negotiations have finalised, contracts can be signed and preparations made for settlement, including ensuring that any mortgage on title is removed.
We can assist with the entire process, from preparing the required documents, to negotiating on your behalf and finalising the sale.
If you are buying a property, it is important to have the contract and section 32 statement reviewed and to conduct any additional due diligence before entering binding contracts. We can review the contract and section 32 statement and explain your rights and obligations including how any cooling-off period works. We can help you negotiate additional conditions that you may want to include in the contract to help protect your position. If, after carrying out your due diligence, you wish to proceed, contracts can be signed, the deposit will need to be paid, and preparations for settlement can begin.
We can assist with every step of your purchase, advising you on the contract, negotiating on your behalf, and liaising with your bank to ensure settlement goes smoothly.
Settlements in Victoria are now conducted electronically through a system called PEXA. This allows a secure and timely transfer of ownership without the risk of a paper title, which can be lost or destroyed.
An electronic settlement is a complex process which requires a thorough understanding of property law to ensure that nothing goes wrong. It is our job is to make sure that nothing does.
Sale of a property by auction is slightly different to sales by private treaty. For instance, there is no cooling-off period in a sale by auction, so you will want to ensure you have obtained any pest and building reports, and sought advice on the contract, before attending and bidding.
If you need a premises to run your business, it is likely you will need to enter a commercial or retail lease.
A lease typically involves a significant financial investment, so it is important to ensure that:
- the premises is suitable for your business.
- relevant approvals/licences are in place or can be obtained.
- the commercial terms (the rental period, rent payable and provisions for increases, renewal options, fit-out provisions, etc.) are suitable for your plans.
- the lease is compliant with any relevant retail leasing legislation.
- your legal rights are protected and there are provisions to address a range of contingencies or unforeseen events.
Similarly, if you own commercial or retail premises that you rent out, you will need a carefully drafted lease agreement with appropriate terms and conditions to ensure your investment is protected.
A well-drafted commercial lease with clear terms puts the parties on the same page at the beginning of the relationship and helps avoid disputes down the track.
We can assist with drafting, reviewing, and negotiating the terms of a proposed lease agreement as well as lease renewals, transfers, assignments, and sub-letting.