Property Law FAQ

What reports should I obtain about a property before deciding to enter into a Sale contract?

It is advisable to obtain reports before exchanging contracts so that you can make an assessment about the condition of the property. There are a number of different reports which you may obtain including a building inspection report, a pest report, a strata records report (if applicable) or a contamination report (if applicable).

When do I pay stamp duty and how much?

Stamp duty is calculated based on the purchase price and is payable within 30 days of the property being transferred. However, if you are purchasing a property “off the plan” you may be entitled to certain stamp duty concessions.

What is “cooling off” period?

It is a clause which gives the buyer a period within which to decide whether to proceed with the contract.  In Victoria, a purchaser has up to 3 business days as a cooling off period provided that the property was not purchased at auction.

What is the difference between a retail lease and commercial lease?

A Commercial Lease is an agreement between a landlord and tenant to occupy a commercial property such as office space, factory, warehouse, shop or industrial premises. The agreement sets out the terms of the arrangement between the landlord and tenant.

A retail lease is a type of commercial lease that relates to retail premises. Retail leases in Victoria are, in most cases, governed by the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) (“the Act”) which is generally recognized as tenant friendly legislation. 

It is often difficult to ascertain whether the lease constitutes a retail leaser or a commercial lease, and consideration by an experienced solicitor is often required.

If I pay a holding deposit to an agent but haven't signed a contract, is my purchase secured?

No! If a purchaser has made an offer which has been accepted verbally, the deal is not binding until contracts are properly signed and exchanged.

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