It’s a wrap! Summary of key developments in conveyancing and property law in 2016

During 2016 we have seen major changes come into force that significantly affect the way a property transaction is conducted.  For our last blog of the year we provide a recap of those key developments below:

  • Underquoting reforms (January): new rules binding real estate agents and affecting the manner in which price guides for properties are set and advertised.  For more info you can read our blog;
  • Swimming Pools compliance (April): properties to be sold or leased must now attach a prescribed document to the Contract for Sale or Lease noting that the pool on the premises complies, does not comply or attach a relevant occupation certificate and a certificate of registration.  For more info you can read our blog;
  • Foreign purchaser surcharge duty (June): all foreign buyers must now pay a 4% surcharge duty in addition to the stamp duty payable on the purchase of residential property.  In the case of off the plan properties, foreign persons are no longer entitled to the 12 month deferral of payment of stamp duty and must pay the duty within 3 months of the Contract date;
  • Vendor clearance certificates for $2 million plus properties (August): all Vendors (both Australian residents and foreign persons) of properties sold for $2 million or more must hand to a Purchaser a clearance certificate prior to settlement.  If a foreign vendor is selling property then the Purchaser must withhold 10% of the purchase price and remit this to the ATO.  For more info you can read our blog;
  • Verification of identity (September): new Verification of Identity requirements have come into force applicable to all parties to a property transaction.  New responsibilities are placed on lawyers, conveyancers and mortgagees to verify their clients’ identity.  For more info you can read our blog;
  • Strata reforms (November): new legislation has come into force for the regulation of strata schemes.  This represents a significant shift in this area affecting the governance of an owners corporation, property management, by laws and from 1 July 2017 the commencement of a new building defect regime.  For more info you can read our blog.

We will be back in 2017 with more interesting blog topics.  In the meantime, if you need any assistance with a conveyancing transaction or other property law matter, get in touch!