Underquoting Laws Change

UNDERQUOTING can take place whenever a real estate agent misleads a potential buyer about the likely selling price of a property – be it for commercial or residential real estate.

For example: When a property is promoted at a price that is lower than its estimated selling price, the seller’s asking price or at a price that the seller has already rejected. [Read more…]

WARNING: Your Land Tax Objections for 2017

THIS IS A REMINDER to Review your Assessments and Object before the 60-Day Deadline expires very soon.

As you may well be aware, the State Revenue Office is currently issuing 2017 Land Tax assessments for Victorian landholdings owned as at midnight on 31 December 2016. [Read more…]

How Solar Panel Initiative Helps Commercial Landlords

A RECENT INITIATIVE by City of Melbourne set to accelerate the rollout of Solar Cells on commercial buildings across Australia.

You may not realise, but Australia has the highest number of solar panels on residential rooftops per capita in the world. However, solar panels on commercial buildings in Australia are few and far between -- with plenty of roof space not generating any energy.

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Foreign Resident CGT Withholding Regime

ON 25 FEBRUARY 2016, Parliament passed a new foreign resident capital gains tax withholding regime.

The regime applies to contracts entered into on or after 1 July 2016; and is intended to assist the Commissioner of Taxation in the collection of the CGT payable by foreign residents.

Under the regime, a 10% non-final withholding tax will apply to foreign residents on the disposal of relevant taxable Australian property.

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Do You Fully Understand “Cooling Off” Periods?

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INVESTORS will generally live in a residential property. So, here is something to consider when you come to buy your next home.

A recent decision in the Supreme Court of Victoria (Tan v Russell [2016] VSC 93) has made it clear that real estate agents do not have authority to receive notices of termination when purchasers seek to exercise their cooling off rights, unless otherwise authorised to receive such notices.

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Negative Gearing Reform

Do Commercial Investors have anything to fear?

WHILE NEGATIVE GEARING is relied upon by investors across various sectors in the Australian economy, it has once again been brought under the spotlight within the context of property investment.

And both sides of politics have shared their positions, where it has been hotly debated over the last few months.

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Under the Hammer: The Epidemic of Underquoting

WHILE REAL ESTATE AGENTS (both commercial and residential) must act fairly and honestly when advertising property, there is no doubt that underquoting is a significant problem -- predominantly in the current Melbourne and Sydney real estate market.

Although the New South Wales Government has recently proposed legislative reforms in order combat this problem, Victoria is yet to follow.

What is Underquoting?

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Changes to FIRB Requirements

THE FOREIGN INVESTMENT Review Board's (FIRB) reluctance to prosecute non-complying foreign investors, and the public criticism that this has received, has led to the introduction of stricter foreign investment laws by the Australian Government.

These changes will apply from 1 December 2015.

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Quiet Enjoyment: It’s More Than Just Noise

Quiet-Enjoyment

QUIET ENJOYMENT IS a right held by all tenants to enjoy their property undisturbed.

Most lease agreements come with a specific clause granting tenants quiet enjoyment, however, courts have readily implied the right into leases not containing such a provision.

In assessing whether a breach has occurred, the court will look to the activities of the tenant and whether they have been rendered practicably impossible to use the premises. [Read more…]

Commercial Property: Retail Landlords to Pay!

Derelict-Building

THE VICTORIAN CIVIL and Administrative Tribunal has given an opinion at the behest of an application from the Victorian Small Business Commissioner.

President Garde determined that compliance costs under the Building Act 1993 (Vic) (Building Act) and repair and maintenance costs under the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) (Retail Leases Act) are the responsibility of landlords and cannot be recovered from tenants. [Read more…]

Contaminated Land: Is it Buyer Beware?

Contamination

ALL AUSTRALIAN STATES AND TERRITORIES have (somewhat varied) legislation dealing with land contamination. There are some important concepts applicable to every state and territory.

Many actions may be contrary to environmental protection laws, but sites classified as contaminated have to meet specific criteria.

This means that mere pollution does not necessarily equate to land contamination. [Read more…]