Property Law

  • Proposed changes to Residential Tenancies Act

    The Andrews Government this week announced changes to the Victorian Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic) (“Act”)aimed at giving tenants greater powers, information and security in relation to residential renting arrangements.  The changes come as a result of the Government’s review of the Act.

    Some of the proposed changes include:

  • Concerns over privatisation of Land Use Victoria

    Rob Bradley spoke to Judy Ann Steed on community radio 3MDR today on behalf of the Law Institute of Victoria on the subject of the proposed privatisation of Land Use Victoria or “LUV” (the Office of Titles).

    He said that the Institute and its members were concerned about

    • Maintaining the integrity of LUV in a privatised system

    • The lack of incentives for a monopoly provider to provide a quality service at a reasonable cost

  • Adverse Possession – former laneways

    Reports in the Preston Leader of Reservoir property owner, Greg Goldenberg gaining title to a discontinued laneway under adverse possession laws demonstrates that successful outcomes are possible despite the need to tiptoe through a legal minefield (click here for the article). 

  • Land Tax for Filled and Potentially Contaminated Land

    VCAT Review of Assessment

    When industrial land is known to have been filled in an uncontrolled manner over many years and there are concerns that it might contain some contaminated material, to what extent should its value be reduced?

    That was the question that confronted a client of Aitken Partners.  Its significance was that a reduction in value would reduce the amount of land tax (and rates) payable.

  • More Covenants Varied

    Aitken Partners has successfully applied for the variation of two single-dwelling restrictive covenants affecting a double-block in Altona.  As a result of an Order of the Supreme Court made on 4 November, the client is now free to apply for a planning permit to erect up to a total of 6 town houses.

  • Building Insurance – Oh what a tangled web we weave

    There is a wonderful scene in the film “A Beautiful Mind”, where Alicia, the wife of mathematician John Nash stumbles into a shed, the walls of which are covered with snippets, parcels of information joined by a spider’s web of inter-connected threads, linking one idea with the next, containing a mass of factual information, rules and exceptions – an imbroglio of incomprehensible, inter-related fact.

  • New Vendor Section 32 Statements

    Amendments to the Sale of Land Act require changes to be made to the form of and information contained in Vendor Statements required to be given to purchasers before the sale of real estate. The changes commenced on 1 October 2014.

    Check List

    If the real estate is vacant residential land or land on which there is a residence the selling agent or the vendor where there is no selling agent must provide to a purchaser a due diligence check list. The check list is available on the Consumer Affairs Victoria website.

  • Property War Stories: Check off the plan duty calculations and save

    99.9% of clients accept that when purchasing ‘off the plan’ there will be a (stamp) duty saving.  Only a few check the amount of the saving when settlement comes around. A recent Aitken Partners’ file demonstrates the advantage of doing so.

  • East West Link: Please take (at least some of) mine

    Statements attributed to the Premier that, “We will be fair and compassionate in dealing with people who are affected” and “We want to make sure they are properly and fully compensated” are to be applauded. They also lead to scepticism – who exactly are the people affected and what is proper and full compensation?

  • Property Wars: Is anything missing and if so, what?

    Documents in property transactions are not overly complicated or sophisticated. Normally they can be read and understood by anyone patient enough to plough through them. In many cases however, understanding what is there is only half the challenge – you also need to know what should be there but isn’t.