Wednesday, 28th June 2017
for lawyers
for the public
Choose your State
Supreme Court District Court Local Court Other State Courts Federal Courts Barristers
State Courts Federal Courts
Affording A Lawyer Barristers Choosing a Lawyer Finding Lawyers Working with Your
 Lawyer
Legal System Acts Regulations
Choosing an Area
 of Law
Administrative Law Business Law Criminal Law Discrimination Law Elder Law Employment Law Family Law Injuries &
 Compensation
Property Law Tax Wills & Probate
Accessibility &
 Language
A to Z Collection Community Legal
 Assistance
Desktop Detective DIY Legal Kits Finding Detailed
 Legal Information
Foolkit Widgets General Tools Legal Aid Funding

Real Estate

On this page

Buying a Property

Buying or selling a home is an important event. You are entering into a significant contract. The contract and documentation you are asked to sign may seem simple, but beware. Before signing the contract, make sure you understand what you are signing.

See a lawyer for advice if you have any concerns or if the contract involves any special provisions.

If your are buying the property for business or as an investment then you should speak to your accountant at an early stage. There are many factors to be weighed up in deciding which name or entity (such as a company or trust) to buy a property in and whether something like a Trust may be more suitable.

Your Guide to Selling a Home

Lawyers and Property Issues

If you are unsure, a lawyer can advise you on your rights and obligations under a Contract. Sometimes important conditions are easy to miss if you do not have a trained eye.

The contract will contain information you, as a purchaser will seek to rely on. A lawyer can check this information for you and advise you of your rights if the information provided by the vendor is untrue or if the vendor has failed to disclose any information that it is compelled to disclose.

A lawyer can take your directions about what you want to happen under the contract and can negotiate contractual terms favourable to you.

A lawyer can make sure that legislation has been complied with and conduct relevant searches.

Taking a proactive approach and getting legal advice before signing a contract is always the safest and most sensible way to go.

New South Wales 1  buying a house selling a house land rent lease landlord tenant land agent real estate neighbours retirement village

Caveats

A caveat is a formal notice to the registered proprietor of land (i.e. the owner) that the person registering the caveat (the caveator) claims a legal or beneficial interest in the land. What is a Caveat?

The caveat prevents the owner of the land from selling the land until the caveator's interest has been determined by the parties involved, or by the Court.

Contrary to popular belief, for a caveat to be registered on someone's property, the caveator must have a direct interest in the land. For instance, you cannot try and recover a general debt by registering a caveat on the debtor's land, unless the debtor has given you the right to do so. However, if you have contributed to the purchase of land, or have improved the land physically somehow, or have signed a contract relating to the land, then you may have a caveatable interest in the land.

See your lawyer if you need advice in this area.

Acts, Regulations, Rules & Forms

Are you looking for detailed information like this, or contact details for any of the bodies mentioned on this page. If so, then start on our Property Law for Lawyers page.

If it isn't there, then start on our Finding Detailed Legal Information page.

Please read our warning on that page "Be careful using these resources".

The Law is not always as straightforward as it appears. We have not included any information about when and how to use that information or any traps. We assume that the Lawyers will know this.

Help Us Improve

Please give us feedback about your experiences using Foolkit and ideas for improvements.


 

Leasing Disputes

On occasion, a dispute may arise between a tenant and their landlord. Lawyers help people with these kinds of disputes on a regular basis. If you find yourself involved in a dispute, you may need some legal advice. Take along a copy of the lease in question to the meeting with your lawyer. He or she can then read through the lease and advise you.

Often it is not just a question of what is in the lease, and answers are to be found in other areas of the law. If necessary, your lawyer can write to the tenant or landlord, or arrange a meeting to try and find a resolution.

Some areas that often lead to problems involve terminating the lease, the obligations of the parties at the end of the lease and rights of renewal and other options. The law on leases is quite strict and it is important to comply with dates and send notices exactly as the lease says.

NCAT: Retail Leases Division deals with issues concerning "Retail Leases". This page is like a set of Frequently Asked Questions, including working out if your are covered by the Retail Leases Act.

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) deals with issues concerning residential leases.

New South Wales 2  buying a house selling a house land rent lease landlord tenant land agent real estate neighbours retirement village

Retirement Villages

Fair Trading - Retirement Villages has general information for the public.

See also Retirement Village Living: An overview of the NSW Retirement Village Laws.

Recent changes to the Retirement Villages Act include:

  • annual management meetings between operators and residents
  • annual safety inspections
  • a settling-in period for new residents
  • reducing the recurrent charges payable by a former occupant after vacating
  • encouraging operators to keep recurrent charge increases at or below the rate of inflation
  • increasing operators- accountability for budget deficits
  • ensuring urgent repairs are carried out quickly
  • cutting red tape for smaller village operators
  • improving the way residents committees operate and making it easier for more residents to be involved
  • giving residents the right to make reasonable alterations to their dwelling
  • better protection of refund entitlements for residents who do not have a registered interest in their dwelling.

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) deals with issues concerning residential leases. If they cannot help resolve a dispute, the Retirement Villages division of the CTTT can hear and determine applications about disputes between the retirement village operator and one or more residents.

Some early termination fees for loans made to enter a Retirement Village may no longer be enforceable. Seek legal advice.

ASIC has a Guide to Early termination fees for residential loans.

See Foolkit's Eldercare page for more information about the services for Seniors including advice regarding Retirement Village issues.

Fair Trading links and contacts on issues related to Retirement Villages.


Engaging a Real Estate Agent

Most people choose to have a real estate agent to sell their land. Some concerns to keep in mind on this subject:

  • Make sure you completely understand the basis on which the agent is to be retained and the terms of the agency agreement.
  • Do the terms of the agency create a sole agency, exclusive agency or general agency, auction or general authority to sell?
  • How is the agent's commission going to be calculated? Don't be afraid to try to negotiate terms to suit your requirements.
  • Check out whether you are responsible for additional expenses like advertising and if there is a fixed amount or limit on the amount you need to pay.

Objecting to Council Rates & Land Tax

If you believe the valuation of your property is incorrect in comparison to sales of similar properties in your area then you have the right to object to object.

Protecting Your Environment

The Environmental Defenders Offices of Australia is an independent community legal centre specialising in public interest environmental law

From 1 November 2010 most sellers or lessors of office space of 2,000 square metres or more will be required to obtain and disclose an up-to-date energy efficiency rating. Certain exceptions and exemptions apply.

See Commercial Building Disclosure for more information.

Neighbours

Pets, fences, noise, trees and trespass.

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) deals with issues concerning residential leases. If they cannot help resolve a dispute, the Retirement Villages division of the CTTT can hear and determine applications about disputes between the retirement village operator and one or more residents.

For more information about the CTTT see our information about lease disputes.

See Foolkit's Eldercare page for more information about the services for Seniors including advice regarding Retirement Village issues.

New South Wales 3  buying a house selling a house land rent lease landlord tenant land agent real estate neighbours retirement village