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COVID-19 Land Tax Relief

May 23, 2020

Landlords May be Eligible for Land Tax Relief The NSW Government is providing support to commercial and residential landlords and their tenants through a $440 million land tax COVID-19 relief scheme. The package allows eligible landlords to apply for land tax relief of up to 25 per cent if they reduce the rent of commercial or residential tenants who are in financial distress due to COVID-19 for any period between 1 April 2020 and 30 September 2020. The rent reduction must be given without any requirement to be paid back at a later date. We can assist with further details regarding eligibility, what constitutes financial distress and the completing the application. Contact Doug Basset who is an Accredited Specialist in Property Law for further assistance.

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COVID 19 Update

May 17, 2020

We are still here looking after you during Covid 19

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Do you use a “track” or “right of way” to access your property?

November 26, 2019

Do you have a legal right to use an access? On 21 November 2019 the New South Wales government passed the Right to Farm Act 2019, which is described in its long title as “an Act to provide for matters relating to farm trespass and the defence of agricultural enterprises; and for other purposes”. In remote and regional areas many people cross across private land on private roads to access their own and other people’s properties. Where this access is by way of an easement, or other private arrangement, and the access is not by way of a publicly gazetted road, the provisions of the Inclosed Land Protection Act may apply. The Right to Farm Act has amended the Inclosed Land Protection Act to include a new definition of agricultural land. This definition is broad and will cover most rural type land. The Rights to Farm Act also amends Inclosed Land Protection Act to make it an offence for anyone who crosses over any of the agricultural land not to close any gates that they may encounter. The penalty for failing to close a gate now carries a maximum penalty of a fine of $1650.00. In addition, if any person crossing over the land willfully or negligently allows stock to escape this also carries a potential penalty of $22,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment. Therefore, it is important to remember when passing over rural roads, even if you believe you are on a public road, if you encounter a gate that is closed you should assume that there will be livestock that it is preventing from escaping and ensure that the gate is closed again once you have passed through it. Failure to do so may result in unwanted consequences.

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Wine-Beer

Rethink that Last Drink

December 1, 2018

New laws came into effect on Monday 3 December 2018 in relation to drink driving offences. As a result of these changes it means that first time offenders who record a blood alcohol reading in the mid-range (that is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, but less than 0.15) as well as receiving a mandatory licence disqualification of at least a minimum of 3 months will also be obligated to participate in a mandatory Alcohol Interlock Program for a period of up to 12 months. This means having a machine fitted to any motor vehicle the offender intends to drive while ever they remain obligated to participate in the program. The reforms also extend to first time high range drink driving where the licence disqualification periods are longer and the time that the offender must participate in the Interlock Program are also longer. If the offender fails to install an Interlock device in their motor vehicle and participate in the program their licence will be disqualified for a period of 5 years. The costs of having the interlock devices fitted to the vehicle can be costly. In addition, the devices require calibration at least every three months and there are additional cost each time this service needs to be performed. The government is becoming frustrated with the endless stream of drink drivers that are flowing through New South Wales Courts. The evidence also suggest that the likelihood of being involved in a motor vehicle accident once you reach the mid-range of blood alcohol concentration is more then four times of that of a person who has a zero blood alcohol level. Drivers can no longer adopt a theory that if they have not been caught drink driving before that they will escape penalty when they come before a Court. How Magistrates implement the changes to the drink driving laws will become more clear over time. However, this Christmas the team at Property Law and More suggest that you rethink that next drink.

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Econveyancing Update

March 1, 2018

From 1 July 2018 all standalone caveats and transfers will need to be lodged for registration electronically using the PEXA eConveyancing platform. Also, all mortgages and discharges of mortgage must also be lodged electronically. This is the latest increment in the timeline for full conversion to electronic conveyancing. The team at Property Law & More are registered PEXA members who are qualified to conduct all forms of electronic conveyancing. We are able to use this platform to complete the purchase, or sale, of your property. The first electronic settlement took place in 2014 and these are now becoming more common than paper settlement transactions. This is heading towards 1 July 2019 were all mainstream property transaction will be required to be lodged electronically. Following this time there will be no more paper Certificates of Title issued and NSW will move into a system, not unlike Queensland, were paper Certificates of Title are a thing of the past. eConveyancing is part of NSW Governments commitment to leading digital innovation. The team at Property Law & More embrace technology and are here to assist you with all your eConveyancing needs. Please feel free to contact one of the team at Property Law & More to discuss conveyancing and how it may benefit you.

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Reduced Deposits on land transactions

February 1, 2018

We are often asked by clients whether they be buyers or sellers of property weather to ask a vendor if they will accept a reduced deposit of less than the normally accepted 10%. The standard form of contract anticipates that a purchaser will pay a deposit of 10 % which will be held to secure their performance under the contract. If the purchaser is unable to complete the contract the situation may arise that the deposit is forfeited to the vendor. There is a long number of court decisions that have considered situations were vendors have agreed to accept an amount of less than 10% as the deposit. Or in the alternative, were a vendor has agreed to accept the deposit to be paid in instalments, with the first instalment paid on exchange of contract and the balance to be paid at or before settlement. Courts have previously held that in this situation, were a purchaser is unable to complete, a vendor is unable claim any amount of unpaid deposits as being a penalty. This has resulted in legal practitioners formulating conditions in the contract that will allow the deposit to be paid in instalments, where if there is a default by the purchaser the second, or subsequent, instalments will not be considered penalties. The vendors need to be aware that if they agree to accept a deposit in instalments, or a deposit less than 10%, if the purchaser defaults it may be difficult to enforce a second or subsequent payment. It’s always preferable to receive the full 10% deposit on exchange of contracts. However, were for some reason this is not possible it is important that the second instalment of the deposit is required to be paid before and not at settlement. The other alternative to accepting a deposit less than 10% would be to utilize a deposit bond. Should you wish to receive any specific advice in relation to this issue please feel free to contact us and we can discuss your individual needs.

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Beware of Fraudulent Emails in Relation to Solicitors Trust Accounts

January 15, 2018

We have received advice from the Law Society of NSW that there are scammers obtaining access to legitimate emails forward by solicitors to clients and changing details of bank accounts so that money that the client thinks is being banked into the solicitors trust account is being banked into the account of the fraudster. Scammers have been hacking into the solicitors email accounts and obtain client information and have able to change and redirect legitimate emails, so they are almost identical to the email sent by the law firm. When Property Law & More is asking a client to transfer money into our trust account, for any reason, we will always do this in a letter. We will not email you our trust account details in the body of an email. If you have any concerns over the correctness of our trust account details please telephone use and we can confirm the account numbers over the telephone. If you suspect you have received a fraudulent email from Property Law and More please advise us immediately so that we can investigate.

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