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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
On 3 May 2013, the Supreme Court of Victoria handed down its decision in Lockwood v PSP Investments Pty Ltd  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?