Sladen Snippet – Foreign person duty surcharge to increase to 7% from 1 July 2016 and related changes

Sladen Snippet – Foreign person duty surcharge to increase to 7% from 1 July 2016 and related changes

The Victorian Government has passed legislation to increase the duty surcharge on purchasers of residential property by foreign persons to 7% for contracts entered into from 1 July 2016. The changes contain a number of other changes to the foreign purchaser duty regime. 

Profit from the development and sale of a commercial property on capital account despite development activities undertaken by private family group

Profit from the development and sale of a commercial property on capital account despite development activities undertaken by private family group

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) recently held in FLZY and Commissioner of Taxation that profit arising from the sale of a building by a family trust gave rise to a capital gain despite the property building, development and investment activities undertaken by the privately held family group (Group). 

Sladen Snippet - Court interprets ‘economic entitlement’ stamp duty provisions in favour of developer

Sladen Snippet - Court interprets ‘economic entitlement’ stamp duty provisions in favour of developer

The Supreme Court of Victoria has recently handed down the first decision interpreting the ‘economic entitlement’ provisions in the Duties Act 2000 (Vic) (Duties Act). These provisions were introduced in 2012 as part of the shift from a “land rich” to a “landholder” model for assessing duty in Victoria on the acquisition of interests in certain land owning entities.

Sladen Snippet – Property purchaser’s notice of termination was ineffective because emailed to vendor’s agent.

Sladen Snippet – Property purchaser’s notice of termination was ineffective because emailed to vendor’s agent.

On 11 March 2016 the Supreme Court of Victoria held that a purchaser's notice of termination was ineffective because it was given to a real estate agent. The Court decided that the estate agent’s role was confined to a marketing and sales mandate, with the consequence that the agent did not have the authority to receive a notice of termination. The Court’s analysis considered the scope of the estate agent’s ostensible authority, implied authority and authority under the Sale of Land Act 1962. There may of course be a different result in other circumstances, for example if the evidence shows that a vendor makes it clear that the estate agent has a much broader role than the Court identified here.

Sladen Snippet - Verification of Identity Requirements

Sladen Snippet - Verification of Identity Requirements

From 9 November 2015, all dealings with Victoria’s Land Registry will require parties to satisfy strict verification of identity requirements (generally referred to as “VOI”). In addition, these VOI requirements also apply to persons who are given custody of a certificate of title.

The new requirements aim to reduce fraud by placing an obligation on conveyancing professionals to take reasonable steps to verify that a person signing a document is who they say they are and that they have the right to transact with the land.

Sladen Snippet - Proposed changes to foreign investment regime

Sladen Snippet - Proposed changes to foreign investment regime

Legislation was introduced into Federal Parliament recently which, if passed, will significantly change the rules regarding foreign investment in Australia, particularly in relation to the acquisition of properties by foreign entities.

Sladen Snippet - VCAT imposes restrictions on recovery of costs of essential safety measures and repairs and maintenance by landlords

Sladen Snippet - VCAT imposes restrictions on recovery of costs of essential safety measures and repairs and maintenance by landlords

The President of the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) issued an advisory opinion on 1 May 2015, responding to the Victorian Small Business Commissioner’s request as to whether a landlord of commercial premises can pass on the costs of Essential Safety Measures (ESM) and certain repair and maintenance obligations for retail premises to tenants.  Measures prescribed by building law for safety and fire protection are covered by the ESM.

Women in Property Committee of the Urban Development Institute of Australia

Women in Property Committee of the Urban Development Institute of Australia

Sladen Legal is a proud sponsor of the Women in Property Committee of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Vic Division) (UDIA).

Last night, Sarah Rizk, a Principal in Sladen Legal’s Property and Development Group and Chair of the Women in Property Committee, moderated a Minute Mentoring event jointly hosted by the Women in Property Committee and Outlook Committees of the UDIA. The aim of the event was to provide young and mid-level members of the UDIA access to senior people in the industry who they may not otherwise have a chance to interact with. The event launched a new series of events to be run by the Committees that will provide greater opportunities for “up and comers” in the urban development industry to make better, more valuable connections.

Sladen Snippet - Proposed amendments to the Owners Corporation Act 2006 and the Sale of Land Act 1962

Sladen Snippet - Proposed amendments to the Owners Corporation Act 2006 and the Sale of Land Act 1962

The Consumer Affairs Legislation Further Amendment Bill 2014 (Bill) is currently before the Victorian Parliament. The Bill seeks to amend several Acts, including the Owners Corporation Act 2006 and the Sale of Land Act 1962.

Sladen Snippet - Transfer of Land Amendment Bill 2014 – proposed introduction of priority notices

Sladen Snippet - Transfer of Land Amendment Bill 2014 – proposed introduction of priority notices

The Transfer of Land Amendment Bill 2014 (Bill) has been introduced to the Victorian Parliament. The Bill proposes a number of amendments, including provisions to facilitate the phasing out of paper certificates of titles in preparation for the introduction of electronic conveyancing system.

Sladen snippet – Changes to vendor’s disclosure obligations

Sladen snippet – Changes to vendor’s disclosure obligations

The Victorian Government has recently passed legislation that will affect a vendor’s disclosure obligations when selling property in Victoria. The changes relate to the information to be contained in the statement provided to purchasers under section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 before they sign a contract of sale (commonly called a Section 32 Statement, or Vendor’s Statement).

Sladen Snippet: Developer infrastructure contributions reforms

Sladen Snippet: Developer infrastructure contributions reforms

The Victorian Government has announced that effective from 1 July 2015, it will change the way it collects contributions towards the provision of infrastructure from developers.

At present, developers of land may be required to pay infrastructure levies at different rates and using different methods of calculation depending on whether the land is in a development contributions plan (DCP), the use of the land, the area of land being developed, and other criteria determined by the municipality in which the land is located. It is widely believed that the existing system is onerous, expensive, lacks flexibility and accountability and delays the development approval process.

ASIC warns real estate industry about recommending property investment through SMSFs

ASIC warns real estate industry about recommending property investment through SMSFs

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released a warning to the real estate industry regarding recommending self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) as an investment vehicle to acquire real property.

Off the plan sales and amendments to the plan of subdivision

Off the plan sales and amendments to the plan of subdivision

On 3 May 2013, the Supreme Court of Victoria handed down its decision in Lockwood v PSP Investments Pty Ltd [2013] VSC 10 (Lockwood).

This decision considers a critical issue in off the plan developments – what amendments can be made to a proposed plan of subdivision between the time that a contract is entered into and registration of the plan of subdivision, without giving a purchaser a right to terminate their contract?