Conveyancing FAQ

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Conveyancing FAQ

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Building and Pest Inspection – Do you need one?

Yes, we recommend that you do.

 

A Building and Pest Inspection Report can help you identify any structural faults or defects in the property that were not apparent from a visual inspection. If your contract is subject to satisfactory Building and Pest Inspection reports, you can terminate the contract before the Building and Pest Inspection date if there are problems with the reports you receive.

 

Recent changes to the standard REIQ contracts require you to notify the Seller if you are satisfied with the inspections or if you intend to terminate the contract by 5pm on the inspection date or the Seller will be able to terminate the contract.

 

Previous versions of the standard REIQ contracts allow the Seller to deem the reports you have obtained to be satisfactory if you do not notify the Seller of your intentions before 5pm on the inspection date.

 

Remember to ensure that any building and/or pest inspector you engage holds the appropriate licenses and that you obtain a copy of the written report.

Prior Inspection – Do you need one?

Yes. We recommend you do one on the day of settlement.

 

The standard terms and conditions of the Contract only allow one inspection by the Buyer prior to Settlement.

 

It is recommended that on the day of settlement you arrange with the Real Estate Agent for a convenient time for an inspection at the premises to ensure the property is in the same condition as when you first inspected the property before you sign the Contract.

Can you arrange to collect the keys on settlement?

It is our usual practice to have the keys left at the Real Estate Agent’s Office for collection by you following completion of the Settlement at your convenience.

 

However, we can arrange to have the keys to the property handed over at settlement on your behalf, but you will then have to arrange to have the keys collected from our office.

 

Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will arrange to have the keys to the property left at the Real Estate Agent’s Office for collection by you.

Services to Property – Should I co-ordinate them?

Yes.

 

Services to the property such as telephone, electricity and gas (if connected) should be transferred to your name to ensure the services are properly connected prior to settlement.

 

You should make the appropriate arrangements with the relevant authorities and the Seller prior to completion.

Insurance. When should I obtain Insurance for the property?

As at the date of the Contract.

 

The Law deems that the property is owned by you as at the date of the contract, being the legal point of sale therefore if any damage occurs to the property, you may be responsible for the damage unless it can be shown that the damage was as a result of wilful neglect or destruction by the Seller.

 

If you have not obtained insurance, the property burns down and the seller does not have insurance, you will have to proceed with the contract regardless.

 

As the property is at your risk from the date of the contract we therefore urge you to immediately arrange insurance cover over the property to protect yourself in the case of damage or destruction to the property and its fixtures.

 

If you need any assistance in this regard please do not hesitate and seek our advice. A Certificate of Insurance noting a fully paid premium and your financier’s name as First Mortgagee will be required prior to them releasing any finance to you.

Building restrictions of my house. Are there any?

Yes there may be!

 

If the property is effected by covenants / restrictions on use, the terms should be set out in a document attached to the contract.

 

We suggest that you hand a copy of the covenants to your Builder, as the covenants impose certain restrictions and requirements with respect to the building of improvements on the property as to the area, height, building materials, garages etc.

 

Please also note that the covenants may contain a condition stating that should you contract to sell the property in the future, you agree to include a special condition in the contract that the new Buyer will also be bound by the same terms and conditions as the covenants contained in this contract.

 

We can advise you as to the wording of any covenant to ensure that you understand its effect on the building of any dwelling on the property.

 

If in doubt, please seek our advice.

Buying a property. Can I keep specific items?

Yes. In order to do so, each item must be listed on the contract as an included Chattel.

Stamp Duty. How much do I pay?

We will calculate this for you.

 

Stamp Duty is assessed at differing rates, depending on whether the property is:-

 

A. Your first principal place of residence;
B. Your Principal place of residence;
C. An investment property; or
D. Vacant land.

 

Concessional rates are available if the property to be purchased is either A. or B. above, provided you intend to reside in the property for a continuous period of not less than twelve months. The starting date of this twelve month period is from the date nominated by you. This nominated date must be no later than twelve months from the Settlement date.

 

The concessional rates are not available if the purchase is an investment, is vacant land or if the property is being purchased under a Company Name or Trust.

 

Once you tell us your intentions we will be able to calculate the correct Stamp Duty payable by you.

Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common?

It is important how you hold the property.

 

If you are purchasing the property with someone else, you have a choice as to how you wish to hold the property, either as Joint Tenants or Tenants in Common.

 

The important differences are: as joint tenants, on the death of one person, the interest of the deceased person passes automatically to the surviving person notwithstanding the contents of that person’s Will.

 

In the case of tenants in common, upon the death of one person, the interest of the deceased person passes in accordance with the provisions of the Will of the deceased person.

Final Approvals – Does it matter?

It does matter!

 

If the house or any other structure (i.e. pergola, carport, pool, etc) on the property was built or erected after 1986 then an inspection of building records search should be carried out to confirm that the dwelling and any other structure has received a final certificate. Some Councils charge a separate search fee for each improvement or structure.

 

Prior to 1986, some Councils only hold records of approvals and not the inspection details of the construction.

 

If the dwelling or any improvement on the property was built within the last six years, then a Queensland Building Services Authority search should be carried out to ensure that a registered builder carried out the work.

 

If it was not built by a registered builder, then you will not have access to insurance in relation to any construction faults, and need written permission if it was built by an owner builder.

Witnessing my signature. Who can do it?

Legislation in Queensland provides strict requirements for the witnessing of documents, hence a witness must take reasonable steps to ensure that the individual is the person entitled to sign the document.

 

Proof of identity (ie driver’s licence or passport) must be provided when signing documents in our presence.

Purchasing a home. Can I be assured that I will be recorded as the owner of the property?

We will do all we can!

 

At present, a Certificate of Title search will not reveal the past registrations. It is important therefore, to ensure that once a search is done that either a Caveat be lodged or a Settlement Notice be lodged with the Department of Environment & Resource Management (Titles Office) to reduce the risk of fraud.

 

The procedures to effect a settlement are greatly affected by not having a “paper” Certificate of Title as there is a heightened concern as to the likelihood of fraud in the market place by unscrupulous Sellers.

 

No doubt you may have read articles in the newspaper about such events. Therefore, it is essential where a Certificate of Title has not issued that a Caveat or Settlement Notice be lodged to protect your interest, primarily for the period between when we have conducted the searches on the property and the lodgement of your transfer documentation.

 

The lodgement of a Caveat is more expensive than a Settlement Notice but provides total security. A Settlement Notice is similar to a Caveat in that it prohibits any dealings to be registered over the Certificate of Title, however it allows for registration of the documents nominated by the lodger.

 

It will remain over the Certificate of Title for a period of sixty days at which time it will lapse or alternatively, it will be automatically removed upon the lodgement of the relevant transfer. Should there not be a current Certificate of Title over the property your financier will insist on a Settlement Notice being lodged.

Certificate of Title – Do you get one at settlement?

Generally, No.

 

The legislation which governs land title in Queensland has allowed for all Title records to be computerised, therefore, a Certificate of Title no longer issues upon registration of a Transfer from the Department of Environment & Resource Management.

 

In order to obtain a computer generated duplicate Certificate of Title, the Registered Proprietor makes a separate application in writing to the Registrar of Titles requesting a duplicate Certificate of Title.

 

If you wish us to assist you in this regard, please contact us. A fee may be required to obtain this.

Finance Approval. Who should I speak to?

Speak to us!

 

If we are representing you in the purchase of your property, we must hear about the outcome of your application for finance before the Seller or Seller’s Agent are told. There may be conditions that limit the effect of the approval and therefore you should talk to us first.

 

A communication of an approval of finance to the Seller or Seller’s agent will mean that you will be expected to proceed with the purchase of the property on the due date for completion.

 

Please therefore talk to us first before advising anyone of your approval, so we may advise you further.

Finance Approval. Should it be obtained prior to entering into a contract?

Yes.

 

Do your homework first.

 

We suggest that you know exactly what your limitations are with your finances.

 

Therefore we strongly recommend you talk to your financier to determine just how much money you can borrow prior to signing a contract.

Building Approvals. Can I terminate a contract if an improvement has not been approved by Council?

Unfortunately not.

 

The current version of the REIQ contract doesn’t make provision to terminate the contract if the improvements have not been properly approved by the Local Council.

 

If a search of Council records reveals that an improvement did not receive Council approval i.e. dwelling (slab, plumbing, frame, final), pergola, carport, pool or pool fencing, then you must proceed with the contract.

 

A special condition may be inserted in the contract, prior to signing, making it subject to satisfactory search results.

 

Talk to us first before you sign a contract.

Flooding. Does the standard REIQ Contract cover me if the property floods?

No.

 

The current version of the REIQ contract doesn’t allow a Buyer to terminate the contract if the property floods in any way.

 

A council search will reveal if the 1974 floods affected the property but unless the contract is made subject to satisfactory search results from the Council, you will have to proceed with the contract.

For additional conveyancing information, please feel free to email property@hatzis.com.au or call 1300 HATZIS (1300 428 947) .

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