Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Insurance in Strata property

The body corporate insures the common property.

All that a lot owner owns is the cubic space within the walls of the building – and the contents.

You own and are responsible for the paint on the internal walls, the floor coverings, light fittings, kitchen cabinets and fittings.

Your insurer will be able to help you with this. Look at obtaining Strata Proprietors fixtures and contents insurance.

You should advise your insurer of any special by-law that shifts responsibility from the body corporate to the unit holders.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Priority Notice

A Priority Notice is a notification of the intended registration of specified dealing(s) with land.

Once recorded a Priority Notice will temporarily prevent the registration of other dealings with the subject land.


What that means is that if someone is searching a title and that title is currently under a contract for sale then the search will show the notification of that sale. Fraud prevention is one part of these notices. It is expected to increase the likelihood of a fraud being detected.

There are other uses for Priority Notices.

For more information see:


Monday, October 10, 2016

Strata Law changes

The strata reforms brought in by the Act and the Regulations are widespread.

Major changes to the management of strata schemes will commence on 30 November 2016.
The new building defect regime will commence on 1 July 2017.
Lot owners, potential purchasers, tenants, building managers and developers alike need to prepare for the changes.

They will require changes to the process of managing an OC, particularly if the new voting methods are adopted.
Some changes will be immediate, such as the new proxy limits, while others will have a longer term effect, such as including the new requirement that a by-law not be harsh, unconscionable or oppressive (discussed in the February 2016 article).

As with any new legislation there will undoubtedly be testing of changes by way of litigation.

More detail: ecomms.lawsociety.com.au/rv

Monday, September 12, 2016

Cheaper pre-purchase property reports?

Prospective home buyers had raised concerns about the cost of obtaining pre-purchase property inspection reports.
Effective 15 August 2016 the NSW Government has amended the laws to help prospective buyers access information about important reports.

Agents are required to record details of some reports, including pre-purchase building and pest inspections and for strata units, strata (and community scheme) reports. Agents then inform buyers of these reports enabling them to contact the author to ask about obtaining a copy.

Note that the owner does not have to obtain any such reports.

The FairTrading site says the NSW Government supported sharing of reports. They were seeking ways to improve services for consumers through the new collaborative economy (also known as the peer-to-peer or sharing economy). There was a growing trend of businesses using online services to make key pre-purchase property inspection reports available at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible.

See (and if you like, hear) the full details of this at:

For answers to these questions go to:

What kinds of reports do agents need to record and disclose?
What happens if an agent isn’t told that a report has already been prepared or completed?
What does 'reasonably obtained' mean?
What information will agents need to record?
Must vendors, prospective buyers or other parties tell agents of any reports prepared or completed?
Do agents have to keep copies of reports to give to prospective home buyers?
How long will agents have to retain the records of the reports?
Is there a standard format for the record-keeping and providing the records to prospective buyers?
When will agents have to provide this information?
Must agents proactively disclose the records to any prospective home buyer?
Are agents liable for the accuracy of the reports?
Are there any penalties for failure to keep these records?

We particularly noted this question and answer:
How will agents know if these reports exist?

There are a number of ways an agent may know if a report had been prepared:
  • The vendor may tell the agent that reports had been done
  • The agent could ask the vendor if there are any reports
  • The vendor could ask the agent to arrange a building inspection report, a pest and timber inspection or a strata or community scheme report
  • A prospective home buyer could ask the agent to arrange access for an inspection, or for access to owners corporation’s or community association’s records
  • On behalf of a prospective home buyer, a building inspector could ask the agent to help arrange access to a property
  • On behalf of a prospective home buyer, a strata inspector could ask the agent to help arrange access to owners corporation’s or community association’s records.

All this may save a couple of hundred bucks on a million dollar purchase, but the key thing will be if the prospective buyer can access this information straight away instead of the day or two that it currently takes to it round up.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Will Electronic Conveyancing be cheaper?

Yes, it probably will but in the meantime we have to get our heads around stuff like this:

How do I complete a manual settlement when there is no Certificate Of Title?

You can identify when there is no paper certificate of title (no CT) by conducting a title search. The folio section on the register clearly identifies that there is no certificate of title. Instead, an electronic Control of the Right to Deal (CORD) record is recorded. This is known as eCT.

In NSW, eCT may only be held by an APRA regulated Financial Institution. A Request for CoRD Holder Consent eForm should be completed and provided by the vendor’s representative to the financial institution.

The CoRD holder (eg. the Vendor’s bank) will complete and lodge a Consent in PEXA relinquishing CoRD upon registration of the settlement dealing. This is the electronic equivalent of bringing a paper title to settlement.

This means you no longer need a certificate of title to be issued for a manual settlement. You can conduct another title search and check that all dealings now appear. This is your guarantee that the property transaction can proceed just as it would with a paper title.

You are now ready to attend settlement.

Although it is not necessary, you are able to print the title search showing completion of all dealings and take it to settlement.

Source: pexa.com.au/faqs [requires login]


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Land 2016

In brief, things to know about the Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Land 2016
  1. The Commonwealth's foreign resident capital gains withholding payment measure
    The Commonwealth's foreign resident capital gains withholding payment measure, which begins on 1 July 2016
  2. Clearance certificate, variation and purchaser payment notification form
    The new edition incorporates the mechanics of the foreign resident capital gains withholding payment measure,
  3. Swimming pool barriers
    Recent changes to vendor disclosure for the sale of properties with swimming pools.
  4. Land tax
    Minor amendments have been made in the 2016 edition for expected changes to the operation of land tax certificates, likely to begin on 1 July 2016.
  5. Electronic only
    The 2016 edition will be available only in electronic format.
The 2005 and 2014 editions should not be used for contracts that may be exchanged on or after 1 July 2016 where the sale price might reach $2 million.


Thursday, January 7, 2016


underquoting can cause interested buyers to waste time and money on inspecting properties, getting reports and attending auctions based on misleading estimates of the selling price.

There have been changes to legislation in NSW.
A key requirement is that agents must not give consumers understated or vague property prices.
The role of the seller's appointed agent (to achieve the highest possible price on the property owner's behalf) does not mean they can manipulate buyer interest with a false price.