Important Changes to Land Zoning within Victoria

Planning-Changes

A significant number of our clients have been purchasing property in Victoria — despite them living all around Australia. If you have already (or are about to) purchase within the State — then read on, to find out if the recent land zoning changes could affect you.

REFORMS TO THE VICTORIAN residential, commercial and industrial planning zones have come into operation in recent months.

The changes have resulted in the replacement of the business zones, introduction of the new commercial and residential zones, and amendments to the industrial zones. [Read more…]

Environmental Issues Loom Large Among Commercial Property Transactions

Green-Building

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION is fast becoming a contentious issue in the 21st century. As such, it is not surprising this is becoming one of the key factors in property transactions.

Sale contracts

All aspects of contamination and compliance with environmental laws have emerged as an issue in negotiations between vendors and purchasers.

Generally speaking, a vendor will aim to sell a property ‘as is, where is’. Accordingly, the vendor’s preference would be for the purchaser to rely on its own enquiries; and therefore, buy the property in its present state of repair.

This would mean the purchaser buys the property subject to any pre-existing contamination, or non-compliance with environmental laws. [Read more…]

STOP! Is Your Commercial Property Affected by an Easement or Encroachment?

Land-Survey

EASEMENTS and encroachments remain one of the key considerations within property transactions — due to their consequential implications for purchasers and landowners.

Easements

An easement is an interest in land creating the right to make use of another owner’s land for a specific purpose. In many cases, there will be two properties subject to the easement — the property, which is burdened by the easement … and the property, which benefits from the easement. [Read more…]

Be Aware of Your Obligation to Maintain and Repair!

Landlord-Repairs
AN OFTEN contentious issue in Retail tenancies: Who has the responsibility for maintenance and repair to the leased premises?

Is it the landlord? Or, as many landlords believe … the tenant?

Disputes relating to maintenance and repairs are the third most common type of dispute referred to the Small Business Commission in the past twelve months — highlighting the importance of landlord’s awareness of their obligations. [Read more…]

Where There’s a Will … There’s a Way

Wills
TO DIE “Intestate” is to die without having made a Will. That means the distribution of your estate would then be in accordance with the law, and potentially against your wishes.

And that’s because, without a Will to provide a clear allocation of your assets and property … estates are divided according to the applicable state or territory legislation.

The legislation provides for the distribution of an estate in light of considerations such as … whether the deceased leaves any partners, children, living parents, brothers, sisters, or children of brothers and sisters. [Read more…]

The New Victorian Fire Levy

FireLevy
THE RECENTLY passed Fire Services Property Levy Bill 2012 will introduce an additional annual levy upon all Victorian land from 1 July 2013. And this is intended to create a more equitable system for funding Victoria’s fire services.

Currently, a fire services levy is imposed by insurance companies upon Victorian land owners who have taken out policies to insure their property. As insurance companies are required to provide funding to Victoria’s fire services, this levy is designed to cover their contribution. [Read more…]

To Caveat … Or Not to Caveat?

Caveat

BEFORE EVEN beginning to answer this question, you first need to understand what a Caveat involves.

A Caveat is a document, which any person with a legal interest in a Property is able to lodge with the land registry (or titles office).

After registration, a caveat note appears on the Title giving prospective purchasers or financiers notice that a third party might have rights over the property.

The process of preparing, lodging and having a caveat registered with the land registry is quite straight forward. Accordingly, caveats are commonly lodged over properties without obtaining legal advice. [Read more…]

As a Commercial Landlord, How does the Personal Property Securities Act Affect You?

You can now protect your Personaal Property

TO BE HONEST, most investors have little or no idea of the added protection for Landlords, with respect to any personal property you make available to tenants — such as office furniture, or any other equipment.

Many of you would be aware that real property has historically been registered by the land title (or in some states, the registration of the lease). Whereas, personal property has not been registrable.

However with the creation of the Personal Property Securities Register, personal property can now be registered — and therefore, your rights fully protected. [Read more…]