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Pre - Purchase/SaleAfter Exchange of ContractAfter Cooling Off Period EndsThe SettlementA Must to Read Articles!



What should I do before I sign a contract to purchase a property?


Make sure that you already have the idea to that certain property because once you already signed the contract, it already means that you are already legally bound with the vendor/seller. In that instance, you already have the obligation to pay the seller to its selling price. Before affixing your signature, you need to understand fully the contract. You need a conveyancer/solicitor to guide you through the process. Failure to do so may lead to some problems after the sale has taken place. 


Securing finances is one of the greatest things to consider when planning to sign a contract. 



Buying Vacant Land (Things you need to know)


Most people think that buying a vacant land is easier than buying a house. I find that the opposite is true.

When you buy a house, you already know or see the finished product.


However, when you buy a vacant land, here are some of the things that you must consider:

  1. Is the land zoned for residential house or abattoir?
  2. Is the main sewerage pipe runs through the land? If so will it affect the size or location of the house that you want to build?
  3. Does the council allow you to build any type of house? Some councils will only allow you to build a single storey house.
  4. What is the soil like? Is it soft?
  5. Are there big rocks underneath the land? If so, it will cost you a fortune to excavate.


The above are only some answers you must ask. It is not exhaustive.


Who should you ask?

The real estate agent?

This is not reliable and often biased because they work for the vendor.


The best people you need to ask are:

  1. The planning department at the Council
  2. Your builder and architect.


Buying a Business

(We only act for one party to avoid conflict of interest.)

*Make sure it's a GOING CONCERN (otherwise it will attract GST).

    1. We suggest to see first an accountant (if you're not) to find out if the price can be justified.
    2. We suggest seeing your accountant regarding to:
      • Adjustment of employee expense like annual leave, sick leave, long service leave, wages, superannuation and redundancy payments.
    3. When contract is received, check:
      • the legal entity (business name or company);
      • any special condition.
    4. Assets of the business must comprise (minimum):
      • goodwill;
      • plant and equipment;
      • stock in trade;
      • work in progress.
      A list of inventories has to be attached to the contract. (Sometimes there is also a depreciation schedule attached as well.) Stock is not liable to stamp duty.
    5. Purchase price (required by OSR & accountants) MUST be apportioned into:
      • goodwill;
      • plant & equipment.
    6. We advise to check/to see if the plant and equipment are in working order.
    7. Do the following searches:
      • bills of sale (to make sure the equipment/machinery is not leased);
      • bankruptcy;
      • causes, writes and orders;
      • "Outstanding Notices".
      You can apply for an "Outstanding Notices" from council. Not all councils will issue one. Check with the relevant councils.
    8. Some prudent lawyers will ask the vendor to sign a statutory declaration as to title. Sometimes when a Bill of Sale has been done, it show as clear but it's not always the case!!
    9. Is the vendor selling the business with the business name? If yes, make sure prior to settlement to get a form 6 from Department of Fair Trading executed. Vendor's solicitor should prepare this.
    10. Make it clear as to:
      • the restraint time (suggest 10 years);
      • restraint distance (suggest 10KM).
    11. Vendor's tuition (training period). State how long prior to completion and how long after completion.
    12. Make sure you have the consent of the landlord to grant you a new lease or taking over the existing lease.
    13. The stock in trade should be counted and paid separately to the purchase price. Sometimes it's a WALK-IN-WALK-OUT (WIWO) which means the purchase price includes stock. (Stock should be nil or minimal- they will likely to run down stock or hold a closing sale.)
    14. Stock can be counted by both parties (small amount); for large amount of items get professional stock takers. (There are company who will do stock take for you.)
    15. Deposit is generally 10% of the purchase price payable to the agent or the vendor's solicitor.
    16. Completion date: In NSW, completion date normally is not time essential as it uses the words 'on or about'. Better to make it clear as whether time is essential or not.


If the lease is nearing expiration, should always get a new lease. (A new lease is always preferred.)

  1. If contracts are exchanged before a lease is granted, then make sure:
    • that the contract is made conditional on the landlord agreeing to a grant of a new lease on the required terms within a specific time after exchange.
    (If there is a headlease, then consent of the headlease will also be required.)
  2. It is wise to obtain mortgagee's consent for new lease or transfer of lease. This can be done via the landlord's solicitor. This is to protect the client. Normally, if consent is not granted by the mortgagee, the most common reason is that the mortgagor has breached the mortgage conditions. There should be a clause in the contract conditional to consent of the mortgagee with the transfer or grant of lease.
  3. If there is a transfer of lease, then you will need a Deed of Assignment of Lease. This is to bind all parties and to ensure all rights and obligations are fully understood. (Vendor will have to pay the lessor's and mortgagee's legal costs on the assignment. Purchaser will pay any stamp duty and registration fee on the transfer of lease.)
  4. Exchange of contract (same as conveyancing). It is usually done at the office of the vendor's solicitor.
  5. Attend to stamping of the contract (same as conveyancing).
  6. Arrange for settlement (place normally nominated by vendor).
  7. Make sure you have the permission of the landlord to settle as they will and you want to make sure that:
    • rent are adjusted;
    • lease outgoings are adjusted.
  8. Make sure all bills of sales (if any) are paid.
  9. Make sure there are no outstanding bills to pay. (E.g. goods bought, not yet paid.)
  10. Make sure to receive form 6 (transfer of business name with Fair Trading Department).      back

Stigmatised Property
A property that has acquired an undesirable reputation due to an event that occurred on or near it, such as violent crime, gang-related activity, illness, or personal tragedy. Some states restrict the disclosure of information about stigmatised properties.
In real estate, stigmatised property is property which buyers or tenants may shun for reasons that are unrelated to its physical condition or features. These can include murder, suicide or even AIDS, in addition to a belief that a house may be haunted. The concept is controversial. Famous homes, such as those used in television or movies, can also be stigmatised by increased traffic from fans wanting to see the house in person.
Example of Stigmatised property
SEF GONZALES (born 16 September 1980) is an Australian who was convicted and sentenced in the Supreme Court of New South Wales to life imprisonment for the murder of his father Teddy Gonzales, 46, mother Mary Loiva Josephine, 43, and sister Clodine, 18.
Teddy carved out a career as an immigration lawyer. The Gonzales family appeared to be close-knit, the parents being strict, devoutly Catholic and having high hopes for their children. Later court evidence suggested, however, that the Gonzales enforced harsh discipline on their children had they not met their parents' high expectations. In particular, Teddy and Mary Loiva had hoped Sef would perform well academically, but he did not score well enough in his Higher School Certificate to be accepted into medicine or law.
After high school Gonzales attended the University of New South Wales, where he stayed in Warrane College for a time. Performing poorly in his courses, he tried to cover up his academic failure by falsifying his results, but when this was discovered by his parents they threatened to withdraw certain privileges, such as use of his car. He had also argued with his mother over a girlfriend of whom she disapproved, and his family had threatened to disinherit him.
This, along with the desire to inherit the family's fortune (estimated at between A$1.5 million and A$10 million), were established by police as motives for Gonzales killing his parents and sister.
The murders
On July 10, 2001, about 4.30pm Gonzales entered Clodine's bedroom, where she was studying. He was armed with a baseball bat or a bat similar to a baseball bat and with two kitchen knives he had taken from a knife block in the kitchen. These two knives were the longest knives in the set of knives in the block. It was found that he compressed Clodine's neck trying to strangle her, struck her at least six separate blows to the head with the bat and stabbed her many times with one or both of the knives. He inflicted five major stab wounds to Clodine's neck and two major stab wounds to her chest or abdomen. The cause of Clodine's death was the combined effect of the compression of her neck, the blunt force head injuries and the abdominal stab wounds.
Mary Loiva arrived home about 5.30pm. Immediately upon entering the house, Sef attacked her with one of the kitchen knives in the living/dining room. Gonzales inflicted multiple stab wounds and cuts to her face, neck, chest and abdomen. Her windpipe was completely transacted in the attack.
Teddy arrived about 6.50pm. Very shortly after he entered the house, Sef attacked him with one of the kitchen knives and inflicted multiple stab wounds to his neck, chest, back and abdomen. One of the stab wounds penetrated his right lung, another penetrated his heart and another partially severed his spinal cord.
After killing his family, Gonzales disposed the knives he had used as well as the bat he had used in striking Clodine as well as the shoes and clothing he had been wearing at the time of committing the murder, which had become blood stained. At some time in the evening, he also spray painted the words "Fuck off Asians KKK" on a wall in the house in an attempt to fool investigating police into believing that his family had been the victims of a hate crime.
After the incident
After committing the murder, Gonzales drove to a friend's house, arriving there about 8pm. Sef and his friend, Sam Deilio (who neither knew or was told anything about the incident), went to the city, where they went to Planet Hollywood and then to a nearby video games centre. Later in the evening, after dropping his friend off, Gonzales returned home. He called police to say he had discovered the bodies on his arrival at the house, and that he had chased off intruders.
Gonzales acted sympathetic after he sang "One Sweet Day" at the funeral and appeared on television asking for the killers to come forward, saying he wanted justice and offering a reward of $100,000 for information.
The investigation heats up
However, police investigating the murders began to believe that he was the perpetrator. In December, investigating police were able to disprove Gonzales' first alibi, when they were told of sightings of his car in the driveway at the time of the murders. Gonzales then constructed a second alibi, claiming he had visited a brothel at the time of the murders, but this was proven to be false by the prostitute who he claimed to be with at the time.
Other false trails were the fabrication of an e-mail that implicated a business rival of Teddy in the murders, the fabrication of threatening e-mails, and the staging of an attempted burglary and abduction. Sef also put a deposit on a $173,000 Lexus, telling the dealership he would be using his inheritance to pay for the vehicle, traded in his parent's car and pawned his mother's jewelry.
On 13 June 2002, detectives from Strike Force Tawas of the NSW Police arrested Sef Gonzales and charged him with three counts of murder and one count of threatening product contamination. He was refused bail and held in remand in Silverwater Correctional Centre. He was also denied access to the family's estate to fund his defense.
The murder trial took place during April and May 2004. The trial revealed that Gonzales had planned the murders for several months before they took place. Initially Gonzales researched the idea of poisoning his family, which led to an elaborate contamination hoax. The court heard of numerous lies told to his friends, family and police regarding his whereabouts at the time of the murders.
It was found that he had committed the murders because he was fearful that, because of his poor performance in his university studies, his parents might take his car away from him and might withdraw other privileges which had been granted to him and that he wished to be the sole beneficiary of his parent's property, estimated to be worth $1.5 million.
On 20 May 2004, the jury found Gonzales guilty of all four charges. He was sentenced on 17 September 2004 (the day after his 24th birthday) to three concurrent life sentences without parole for the murders, Justice Bruce James remarking "I consider that the murders show features of very great heinousness and that there are no facts mitigating the objective seriousness of the murders and hence the murders fall within the worst category of cases of murder at common law." Gonzales is now serving his sentence as a maximum security inmate at Goulburn Correctional Centre, and maintains his innocence.
In June 2007 Gonzales was granted approval to appeal his conviction and his sentence. The Supreme Court determined that statements taken from Gonzales by police on the night of the murders may be inadmissible, as he was not cautioned. On 27 November 2007, Sef Gonzales' appeal was dismissed as there had been no miscarriage of justice, and his convictions remained.
Sale of the Gonzales home
The North Ryde house where the murders took place was put on the market, arousing controversy in October 2004 when the prospective buyers, a Buddhist couple, learned of the home's history. They had not been informed of the events that took place there, finding out from a newspaper only when the balance of the sale value was due. After this incident was publicised the NSW government made it illegal to sell a house without disclosing murders that took place in it. The agents eventually refunded the buyer's deposit on their purchase due to the bad publicity it caused for LJ Hooker. The real estate company was also fined $21,000. In November 2005 the house was sold for $720,000 ($80,000 less than the initial sale) to a buyer who was aware of its history.
LJ Hooker network added the following statement on all marketing material: "Notice to Buyers: This property is being sold under instructions from the Trustee of the Estate of the Late Teddy and Mary Gonzales. Mr. and Mrs. Gonzales, together with their daughter, were murdered in the house on 10/7/01." The final price for the house has been cut down to $715,000.

The New South Wales Fair Trading Commission

The New South Wales Fair Trading Commission brought an action against the real estate agents for engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct. The commission also held them responsible for failing to reveal the property's gruesome history. The New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal held that the real estate agents had breached the Property Stock and Business Agents Act and had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct under the Fair Trading Act. It was considered that the purchaser rightfully expected that all the information that might affect the price should have been revealed to them as well as the information that would influence their decision concerning the purchase.
More examples...
Down in Mornington in Victoria, a beautiful looking two-storey cottage at 116 Prince Street is being advertised with the heading "Seaside Cottage Charm". Among the gushing 250-word ad is the promise that this "cottage offers a surprising interior". Surprising! Well, 'shocking' would be more accurate. This is the home where, in 2004, a snivelling coward murdered his pregnant wife by firing a spear into her head as she slept. He buried her in the garden. Three days later, this low-life murdered his 20 month-old daughter in the same manner. He then dug up his wife's body and cut it up with a chain saw. Both bodies were thrown in a dumpster.
One such home is the house in the pretty Sydney suburb of Sylvania, there's a cute little home for sale at 39 Formosa Street. At $520,000, it seems well priced. It got two bathrooms, a spacious kitchen, and three bedrooms and is close to the Southgate Shopping Centre. All positive stuff however, of the lounge room, where a woman was shot in the head by her estranged husband. Although Rodney Spink (who advertises that he is a Justice of the Peace) has been made aware of the murder, he's not telling the buyers. But, after all, the murder happened back in 1968. Who cares? Well, for starters, the young man whose father witnessed the murder cares about it. He also cares about the people who will buy his former family home. He believes all potential buyers should be told about any past murders at any home. Further, as a TV actor, he doesn't want his named linked with adverse publicity.
In Tasmania, an auction was held at 4 Arnold Street, Penguin. In 2004, two men were axed to death in the home. The agent, from Elders Real Estate, is upfront about the home's history. The murder is even mentioned in the contract and was announced at the start of auction. "If there's a fault with any property, it's the first thing I tell buyers," said the agent. He also said there had been a few suicides in his area and he always disclosed such tragedies when selling homes. How refreshing to find such an attitude. It's a pity that a young couple from the NSW country town of Dubbo was not dealing with the agent when they bought their first home. After they signed the contract, they discovered that a man had killed himself after molesting a child in the home. The agent deliberately concealed the home's gory history. "We are disgusted, emotionally drained and so angry," said the buyers. "If we had been told about the history of the home, we would never have bought it."
The Category
It is argued that the seller has a duty to disclose any such history of the property. This, in practice, falls into two categories: demonstrable (physical) as well as emotional. These guidelines vary from state to state.


What does 'exchange' means?
Answer: Exchange is define as the situation when the vendor and purchaser (literally means exchange) exchanges contracts with the following conditions:
        - > The contract holds by the purchaser bears the signature of the vendor and
        - > the contract holds by the vendor bears the signature of the purchaser.
        - > Both contracts are dated (with the same date) and
        - > deposited, (normally 10% of the purchase price).          




(Our) Time Line for Sale

  1. Bring us a copy of the council rate.
  2. If the property is tenanted, bring a copy of the rental agreement to be inserted into the contract.
  3. Fill out our questionnaire which will be given to you at our office.
  4. Appoint a selling agent.
  5. We will prepare a contract for your agent to sell. Please note that your agent by law will not be allow to advertise without a contract of sale as they can be fined by the Department of Fair Trading.
  6. We will send you and your agent a copy of the contract of sale.
  7. Once your agent finds a buyer and you accept their offer, the agent will send us a signed contract by the buyer.
  8. Once the cooling off period ends, bring us the loan details so that we can discharge your loan.
  9. About 1 week before settlement we will call you to go to our office to sign the transfer.
  10. You make sure the house is clear of rubbish.
  11. We will arrange for settlement and will let you know about 3 days in advance.
  12. Once we have told you of the settlement date, do not pay any council rate, water rate or strata levies as we will adjust it for settlement for you.


  1. You do not need to attend settlement as we have our agent in the city doing that for us.
  2. We will let you know once the settlement is done. Usually this happens after 3pm.
  3. Come to our office and get your cheque after 2pm the next working day (vendor).
  4. We will give you all the paper works and also set out the calculations.



About Exclusive Agency


Where do you see this?

You will see this word “exclusive” when you sign the agreement form with the real estate agent when you agree to sell your house. Actually, you will not see it because it is so small and well hidden. (TRAP)


What does it mean?

It means for a period of 3 months (usually that is the agreed period, but it can vary) that is when your property is sold within that period the agent is entitle to their commission. This means even if you are the vendor and you sold the property yourself without the agent finding the buyer, the agent is still entitled to their commission.


If the agent has introduced a buyer and then (that same buyer and seller got together say in 4 month's time , which is after the exclusive agency period and sells it privately), do you (seller) have to pay commission to the real estate agent?


Yes, because it was the agent who introduced this buyer to the vendor in the first place.


What if you do it secretly so that the agent will not find out?


This is not ethical not to pay commission for someone who has done the work. Agents always check the record for updates on RP Data (via their subscription) to see who is the new owner and they will find out and they will sue you for the commission. It’s not worth the worry so you better not cheat.


Agents always record in their book all the names of the people that make inquiries on the property, is that so that they can find out whom they have introduced to the property?





Regarding Off the Plan

Facts about Off the Plan

Off the plan literally is a plan not yet realised, so purchasing "off the plan" property is buying a property before it is even built. Off the plan property is a property that has not yet been fully constructed. It is best to understand that an off the plan purchase is the purchase of property (real estate) that, at the moment the contract is signed (exchange), the property does not actually exist.

Buying off the plan property, good points discussed!
>> The vendors probably will offer discounts to encourage initial investment.
In this, it would be the advantage on the buyer for they can get the property at a lower cost and they might as well have a favorable payment options. And sometime the vendors will also allow a deposit bond for a deposit giving the purchaser time to cover the 10% deposit required. One thing that is also possible to happen is that at the time the property is completed, your situation might have changed, example is do not have enough money anymore to continue the purchase. Note: The bank may not lend you any money which will eventually stuck you with clause 9 of the contract (giving up the 10% deposit and can possibly be sued). (See what to do when/before signing a contract.)
>> Off the plan buying is a wise choice if the property is bought for investment.
The price of the property from the time of signing the contract will probably grow/appreciate at the time the development is finish and therefore can re-sell it (at the right time) at higher price. Note: this sometimes not the case because it might also go down.
>> The stamp duty may as well be lower compare to the property that already exists.
To be certain, have a statutory declaration of Land & Building Packages at settlement so to determine the extent of stamp duty concession.
>> Buying off the plan property, also may give the purchaser a chance to customize the property to its own preference.
Make sure that the builder is of good track record, so when expecting good quality of tiles or dishwasher for example, it is really good.
The Complication of "Off the Plan" Purchase

The advantage of purchasing off the plan is good as it was stated above and anyone may focus only on that side without the understanding of the whole part of the "off the plan" purchase. The risk associated on the purchase may take around these few mentioned here:

>> The complexity of the contract of purchasing off the plan is one of the major risks.
Contracts for this purchase are extremely complicated that the one who purchase the said property may not be aware of the thing they enter into. The point is, before entering into contract makes sure it is understood and the "in and out" of the transaction is clear. And also do understand about the Sunset Clause the contract has which if for any reason the completion is delayed, the contract is cancelled and the property maybe offered to someone else.
>> The contract in this purchase is of high risk of being cancelled.
One of the reasons would be that, the proposed development of the certain property will be refused by the authority. So then, be aware that the property you like to purchase may be cancelled from any moment there on. Sometimes the builder can go bankrupt before completion and the bank will take over and will cause delay. So, chose the right developer/builder to transact with.
>> The most common problem that may arise in this purchase, is that the purchaser may not like the property when it is finished. In this, it might be that the dimension has changed (little smaller) due to the conditions of the authority. (E.g. local council and etc.) The fixtures have change and a lot more. In this, most contracts for off the plan purchases contain a special condition which prevents the purchaser from ending the contract because of such changes. Often in the contract it will state that they build this or that but can be 5% smaller from what it state. Check it up!
If you cannot accept the above risk, then off the plan purchase might not be for you.
So be aware! How? Look for a professional conveyancer to guide you through the whole process. Or you may contact us!    

Is that so called 'Building Report', 'Pest Report', 'ID Survey', 'Strata Report' needed? What is it, is it important to have before signing a contract?

It is recommended to have all the necessary report before signing a contract.

Building Report is a report of the condition of a property. It will tell you about any significant building defects. It is usually done before you sign contract so you can identify any problems with the property.

Pest Report is a report carried out to check the condition of the property in relation to termites attack.

ID Survey shows the dimension of the land and the placement of the building and also with any non-compliance of the Local Council Government rules.

Strata Report shows if there is any problem exists with the building, proprietors, and any financial liabilities. (Applicable only if you're buying strata titled property.)   Read more...

It is really wise to have those above mention reports and be informed of its content. The facts the report holds maybe your guide in signing the contracts (or not).Again, it is 'recommended' to have those report and note that we are not responsible for the above report (you are!), if you need to know more about the details of the report, ask and make queries to the one who make/made the inspection (the inspector). We (only) guide what is needed to be done.


What is "holding deposit"? Do I need to deposit to secure the property?

Holding deposit is only an invention made by some agent to hook-up a possible buyer/purchaser. There is no legal obligation for the vendor to sell at this point and also the purchaser has no legal obligation to buy the property. Holding deposit is meaningless. You have not secured the property by depositing such "Holding Deposit".     




Deposit (also term as "initial deposit" but this is so very different from 'Holding Deposit') is the amount, normally 10% from the purchase price, which is payable upon exchange of contracts or must be paid in full before 5:00 pm of the last day of the Cooling off Period.

Hold by the Real Estate Agent and must be safeguard until the settlement is commence and receive an 'Order on Agent' from both parties and/or if there is no Real Estate Agent, by the Trust Fund of the Vendor's conveyancer (by means of request).

Deposit WILL NOT BE RELEASED unless agreed by both parties.

The purchaser can pay the deposit by Five (5) ways:

1. Deposit by cheque

As a purchaser you can pay by drawing a Cheque for the deposit amount. Then it must be receive personally by the Agent upon exchange of contracts.

If there's no Real Estate Agent, it is receive by the Vendor's Conveyancer for safekeeping.

2. Deposit by Cash

The law gives the purchaser the authority to give unconditional cash up to $2,000 for deposit. ($2,000.00 cash are allowed in the contract, any higher cannot be in cash.)

3. Deposit by Deposit Bond

If a purchaser does not have a ready cash to pay 10% deposit on the purchase of property. The purchaser can request by serving a "notice of request" to the vendor through their Licensed Conveyancer or Solicitor a permission to pay by means of Deposit Bond.

Deposit Bond is a substitute of paying cash deposit. It is a policy documents from an Insurance Company that assures the Vendor that the Insurance Company will pay 10% deposit or any balance of the deposit on behalf of the purchaser.

There is no actual cash money hand over under the Deposit Bond. As an alternative, all balance is paid at settlement and the purchase price will be paid in full. The expiration of the Deposit Bond is depending on the date of the settlement or on the day the purchaser is able to pay the balance.

(It is wise to read carefully in the Special condition of the contract if there is a Condition regarding of paying the deposit bond.)

4. Bank Guarantee

If the purchaser does not have ready cash to pay 10% deposit on the purchase of property. The purchaser can request by means of serving a "notice of request" to the vendor via their Conveyancer by asking permission to pay through Bank Guarantee.

Bank Guarantee is a form of guarantee from the Banks or other lending institution ensuring that the payable deposit of the purchaser will be met. In the event the purchaser cannot settle the deposit the bank will cover it.

(It is wise to read carefully in the Special condition of the contract if there is a Condition regarding of paying the (initial) deposit through Bank Guarantee.)

5. Reduce deposit, less than 10%, need permission from vendor via conveyancer.

Reducing of deposit is possible only if the Vendor will accept the request of reducing the deposit via their conveyancer or negotiated and agreed by both parties.

(Be wise not to erase the "10% Deposit" indicator at the Front page of the contract.)     back

Stamp duty:

Stamp Duty is the amount payable to the Office of State Revenue as other form of tax for the purchase (or any transaction where such duty arise or deemed payable) of a certain property and is calculated based on the total purchase price.

A sale or transfer of land (including improvements) or a business in NSW is liable to duty.

A liability for duty arises when the sale or transfer occurs and is on a sliding scale from $1.25 for every $100 for property valued at up to $14,000 to $8990 plus $4.50 for every $100 for properties valued between $300,000 and $1 million. However, if the sale or transfer is affected by a written instrument, liability for duty arises when the instrument is first executed.
Duty is payable within 3 months of the date liability arises. The purchaser or transferee is liable to pay the duty. Stamp duty collected by the Office of State Revenue New South Wales.
$ 160, 000 $ 4090 $ 340, 000 $ 10, 790
$ 180, 000 $ 4790 $ 360, 000 $ 11, 690
$ 200, 000 $ 5490 $ 380, 000 $ 12, 590
$ 220, 000 $ 6190 $ 400, 000 $ 13, 490
$ 240, 000 $ 6890 $ 420, 000 $ 14, 390
$ 260, 000 $ 7590 $ 440, 000 $ 15, 290
$ 280, 000 $ 8290 $ 460, 000 $ 16, 190
$ 300, 000 $ 8990 $ 480, 000 $ 17, 090
$ 320, 000 $ 9890 $ 500, 000 $ 17, 990


Seniors Principal Place of Residence Exemption
                  "...FAQ from OSR"

When would the Seniors Principal Place of Residence Exemption apply?

It applies where the agreement or transfer falls within the New Housing concession category (that is a completed new home purchase or an off the plan purchase where construction has commenced) and the agreement or transfer meets the following additional criteria:

i. all of the purchasers are aged 65 or over (55 from 1 July 2011), or the spouse of a purchaser aged 65 or over (55 from 1 July 2011);

ii. the eligible senior (and spouse, if any) must move into the home within 12 months of completion of the agreement or transfer and occupy the property as their principal place of residence for a continuous period of at least 12 months;

iii. the eligible senior must have owned and occupied a home in NSW within the 12 months before the date of the current agreement for sale;

iv. the eligible senior (and spouse, if owner) must dispose of such former home either prior to, or within six months of completion of, the current agreement for sale.

Who is an eligible senior?

A person is an eligible senior if:

a) the person is 65 years of age or older (55 from 1 July 2011), and

b) the person is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and

c) neither the person, nor the person's spouse (if any), has previously had the benefit of the Senior's Principal Place of Residence Exemption.

Are there value limits?

Yes. The value of the property the subject of the agreement or transfer must not exceed $600 000.

When must applications be made?

Applications must be made within three months of the date of the agreement for sale (or transfer where there is no preceding agreement). This includes for off the plan purchases.

The Chief Commissioner may accept an application after expiry of the three month period if satisfied that the delay in making an application was caused by circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or applicants.

Is there an application form?

Yes, the Application for NSW Home Builders Bonus is available on the OSR website.

Application for NSW Home Builders Bonus

Can seniors apply for the New Housing exemptions?

Yes, for an off the plan purchase where construction has not commenced, and a vacant land purchase, seniors should apply for that exemption. The relevant application form must be completed within three months of the date of the agreement for sale. This form will be available on the OSR website before 1 July 2010.

What is a new home?

A new home is a home that has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence, and includes a home that is a substantially renovated home.

What is a substantially renovated home?

A substantially renovated home is a renovated home:

a) that is new residential premises within the meaning of section 40-75(1)(b) of the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 of the Commonwealth, and

b) that, as renovated, has not been previously occupied or sold as a place of residence.

Under that legislation, "substantial renovations" of a building are defined as renovations in which all, or substantially all, of a building is removed or replaced. The renovations may, but need not, involve the removal or replacement of foundations, external walls, interior supporting walls, floors, roof or staircases.

Can the Chief Commissioner vary the residence requirement?

Yes if satisfied there are good reasons to do so, the Chief Commissioner can approve a shorter period of occupation or exempt an eligible senior from the residence requirement.

Can the Chief Commissioner approve a longer time to dispose of the former home?

Yes if the delay in disposing of the former home is caused by circumstances beyond the control of the eligible senior.

When is the former home considered disposed?

A person disposes of a home if the person ceases to be the owner of the home. Generally that would be at completion of the sale of that home.

Can I get the Seniors Principal Place of Residence Exemption more than once?

No, neither the person nor the person's spouse can have previously had the benefit of the senior's principal place of residence exemption.

Does the scheme apply to replacement agreements?

An agreement for sale or transfer is not eligible if:

a) it replaces an agreement made before 1 July 2010, or

b) it replaces an agreement made before 1 July 2011 and the eligible senior was under the age of 65 at the date of the first agreement

and the replaced agreement was an agreement for the sale or transfer of substantially the same dutiable property.

Can the home or land be used for other purposes?

An agreement or transfer is not eligible if the new home, or the land on which the new home is located or to be built, is intended to be used for any purpose other than residential (such as commercial, industrial or professional). However, an agreement for the purchase of a farming property on which there is a new home or on which a new home is to be constructed is eligible for consideration.

Must the agreement be for the whole of the land?

The agreement or transfer must be for the whole of the land or, if the land is a parcel of land on which two or more homes are built, or are being built (such as a duplex), for one of those homes.

What if the eligible senior is the purchaser under an agreement for sale and a transfer from the vendor to a "related person" is executed?

The agreement would not be eligible as there can be no other purchasers or transferees, other than the spouse of an eligible senior who is a purchaser or transferee.

The same would apply in the reverse situation where the eligible senior was not a purchaser under the agreement but a transferee only and a "related person" was the purchaser. Section 18(3) of the Duties Act 1997 refers.

Can Seniors Principal Place of Residence Exemption transactions be stamped on EDR?

Yes, the relevant application form must be completed and the transaction processed within three months of the date of the agreement for sale. An EDR process bulletin will be issued shortly.

Can an application be approved in advance?

Yes, the Chief Commissioner may approve an application in relation to any agreement or transfer in advance of the requirements of the scheme being met, provided the necessary application form and evidence is produced.     back

Cooling off Period

Cooling off Period is the span of time where the purchaser and/or buyer can cancel the contract they entered into (without any reason) but losses 0.25% of the purchase price to the vendor/seller.
This is usually 5 business days from the exchange of contract and is negotiable because most of the time the 5 business days is not enough for the process to take with in the cooling off period.
When the purchaser wants to extend the period, it is the vendor's/seller's prerogative to agree or not, if the seller agrees then it is extended, if they don't then find another way out to finish the process deem needed to be finish within the cooling off period. Or other may take the last resort of terminating/rescind/cancel the contract, but then again losses the property they like and the 0.25% of the purchase price.
After the cooling off period, it is best to understand that there is the Clause 9, that is... if the purchaser does not comply with the contract then purchaser can possibly be sued and the other big thing would be, purchaser losses that 10% of the deposit to the vendor. (See Clause 9 of the contract.)

2.     The processes in Cooling off Period

The most important thing to process is the financial approval of the bank for the loan applied. This usually happens when a buyer applied for financial support from the bank or other financial institution. Often it is recommended that prior to exchange of contract, financial approval should be sought first, so to avoid problem.
Sometimes that so called preapproved loan will eventually turn to disapproved which will cause severe headache, in the situation where the Cooling off Period is fast approaching. What then on earth we can do? Look for other bank? Seek for extension of cooling off period? This is always the resort to rely upon, but how about the next bank also decline and the vendor won't agree for an extension? Think of it!
The other process to be done may be left upon the conveyancer you have trusted to do business with. And here the communication is of utmost important. Clients (most of the time) want to know and follow where the progress of the transaction is, so keep your line open.   


What is Discharge of Mortgage means?
Discharge of Mortgage (to get rid of the mortgage) is to clear the title of the property out of the mortgage from the Mortgagee (lender/bank) and therefore discharge the property.
Mortgage is the security of the lender (bank) over the property of the one who owes/borrows money (ask financial assistance).

What is Section 603?
Section 603 is the local council rate. It is the certificate from Council showing details of the rates. You apply them through the relevant council. The rate starts from the 01 July to 30 June of next year.


What is Section 47?
       Section 47 is the land tax certificate.          


Regarding Land Tax

Facts about land tax

A land tax basically is a tax collectable on the one who is in possession of the land in a year as a form of government revenue.

In NSW, land tax is a tax levied on the owners of land as at midnight on 31 December of each year. In general, your principal place of residence (your home) or land used for primary production (a farm) is exempt from land tax.
You may be liable for land tax if you own or part-own:

   - vacant land, including vacant rural land;
   - land where a house, residential unit or flat has been built;
   - a holiday home;
   - investment properties;
   - company title units;
   - residential, commercial or industrial units, including car spaces;
   - commercial properties, including factories, shops and warehouses;
   - land leased from state or local government.


The land tax charge
Under section 47 of the Land Tax Management Act1956, land tax is a charge on land owned in NSW at midnight on 31 December of each year. The charge applies from the taxing date and does not depend on the issue of a land tax assessment notice. Land tax is an annual tax so a new charge may occur on the taxing date each year.


To remove the charge
A land tax charge remains until the tax is paid or an exemption is allowed. The vendor will need to contact the Office of State Revenue (OSR) to arrange for the charge to be released.
Vendors should allow at least 10 working days for a request to release the charge before settlement.


Cleared certificate from land tax
The certificate may be issued as clear if:
- the land is not liable or exempt from tax,
- the tax has been paid,
- the Chief Commissioner is satisfied payment of the tax is not at risk or
- the owner of the land failed to lodge a land tax return when it was due and the liability had not been detected when the certificate was issued.


A clearance certificate protects...
A clear land tax certificate protects a purchaser from any outstanding land tax payable by a previous owner. It means that once they become the owner, they cannot be made to pay a prior land tax liability, unless they had been given notice of the unpaid charge prior to the issue of the certificate.
It does not provide any protection to the owner of the land at the time the land tax charge occurred. That owner must still pay any unpaid land tax, even if the unpaid land tax is not assessed until after the sale is completed.

Note: A clear certificate does not mean that land tax was not payable or that there is no land tax adjustment to be made on settlement, if the contract for sale allows for it.
Land value, tax rates and threshold
The taxable land value shown on the clearance certificate is the value that is used by OSR when assessing land tax.
Details of land tax thresholds and rates, as well as the land tax calculator and examples are available at (copy from NSW Government - OSR).      


Tax Depreciation Schedule

What Is It All About

A Tax Depreciation Schedule is in a form of document stating the amount of depreciation that can be claim on the property. The wear and tear of the property is of great loss so , then it is just to claim for tax depreciation every year, most likely on the property used for investment where the income is less compared to the expenses and the other expenditures like the interest when it is on the mortgage. Sometimes refers to as the negative gearing (where an investor borrows money to buy an asset, but the income generated by that asset does not cover the interest on the loan).


Tax depreciation schedule is also a tool that helps calculate/determine the tax basis or the value of a specific asset. Based on how much time the asset has been used or on how much the asset was used during a specific period of time and is the amount subtracted each year from the tax basis of an asset. Here are few of the listed assets:

  • air-condition;
  • carpets, vinyl & other floor coverings;
  • electronic security systems ;
  • furniture & fittings;
  • hot water systems;
  • lawn mowers;
  • microwave ovens;
  • refrigerators;
  • swimming pools (above the ground).

It shows what amount may be deducted each year of the asset's tax life, therefore having a lot of savings. Some of the tax depreciation methods can be complicated, and the tax depreciation schedule allows a taxpayer to easily recognize the allowable deduction for each tax year.


Tax depreciation is the deduction from tax payable for the wear and tear of the property.


Should I apply for it? It depends on you. We can look one for you if you like. We know how to contact them. We will refer if you would like to have tax depreciation.


The Tax Depreciator

Depreciator is a tax depreciation specialist allowed to do tax depreciation and is recognized by the ATO (Australian Taxation Office).

  • They are the one who do depreciation schedules and do the job of determining the tax depreciation.
  • Depreciator is one of the preferred providers of Tax Depreciation Schedules for conveyancing industries.
  • They are also the preferred Tax Depreciation Schedules provider for a large number of businesses and organizations spanning the accounting, financial planning, mortgage and real estate for their quantity surveyors specialized only on this field.

Would it benefit me if I do have Tax Depreciation? We'll if you do understand the above mention, about the Tax Depreciation, maybe the answer is a big yes! Or I may state this way... Is the deduction for the Tax Depreciation means a lot of savings? If the answer is yes, then you can contact us in the matter.

Tax depreciation is not known for some reason like the following:

  • Few conveyancers know this very useful product.
  • Some accountant that is the first contact for the tax issues related to the property also doesn't have the knowledge to the extensive construction so they seem not qualified to do tax depreciation as Quantity Surveyors.
  • Quantity Surveyors are busy, maybe the reason why they doesn't have time to educate us about tax depreciation.
  • Most experts in property market also not familiar with the tax depreciation.

So conclusion would be if those people mentioned here are not familiar so we guess that there is no question why this very useful thing is really unknown.   



What is Section 66?
Section 66 is the relevant water rate.
Certificate showing how much water rate is payable. Apply them through Sydney Water with a cheque. Water rate is paid on a quarterly basis.


What is that so called 'Section 109 Certificate'? Who order it, and who pays for it?

Answer: It is a Certificate from the Strata Owners Corporation showing Administration Fee, Sinking Fee and Special Levy. (Applicable only on strata title.) Vendor's solicitor/conveyancer applies for it and will be charge to the purchaser.    

Regarding Strata Report

Strata Report is a necessary and an important report one must have when purchasing a strata unit/apartment or flat and for whatever that it may name for such a Strata Titled property. One of the reasons why, is the content it holds and the impact it can give to the one who wants to buy such a property.

Will the one who wants to purchase a strata property, would not consider the content of a strata report where it gives knowledge on:
        - it's by-laws,
        - levies (impose tax by the management),
        - special levies,
        - it's mode of payments,
        - the funds it holds,
        - administration funds,
        - sinking funds,
        - arrears (obligations, unpaid something etc.),
        - building specs,
        - insurance issues,
        - the management,
        - its budget,
        - etc. especially the neighbours and surrounding environment?
All of these are of great value for the one who loves to secure and have its property on the right place. So the answer, one needs to secure! It benefits to have the idea on this matter because it helps decide and weigh things up before purchasing!

How it works
Now, taking into consideration of the strata report, it must be done by an independent inspector not connected to the management, to make sure it will show/give a non-bias result. There are a lot of company and people who specialised in this matter and all has its own credibility. Have their service on the said report and they are the one who can explain its content/context.
Most of the time, the solicitor/conveyancer will ask this first to their client to order before the cooling off period expire. But few may have it already by them self, this happen as they know it's significant to their planned purchase.
Many clients just jump up to exchange contract and get the strata report soon after they are legally bound. This happen on the event like many interested buyers are on the line, so to have the property it is wise to exchange first and have the report before the cooling off period end.
The strata schemes
Strata schemes are the communities in a strata plan property and as define by the NSW Government Fair Trading:
A strata scheme is a building or collection of buildings, where individuals, each own a small portion (a lot) but where there is also common property (e.g. external walls, windows, roof, driveways etc.) which every owner shares ownership over. Strata schemes are, in effect, small communities where the activities and attitudes of residents can have a significant impact on the satisfaction and enjoyment of others. It is important for people to be aware of the responsibilities and obligations when owning a property in a strata scheme.
I'd like to mention a problem of strata schemes like a restriction on a car park, renovation and hanging of washing. 
Also, whatever that may happen in a common property, for example, all connected to the scheme is liable because in a common property everybody who owns a unit has an obligation! What???... A shock! Right? Well, why I am stated it this way? ...It's for a reason and to give significance to the first paragraph of this that, it is really needed/important/necessary to know first what is the status of the unit and the strata schemes as a whole, and the report that have it is the 'Strata Report'.
Just a recommendation, an advice and a reminder that before purchasing strata titled property, make sure you order a strata report. (To avoid expenses along the way.)
What we see in here is the value of the property and the wise decision to purchase plus the life to be, (especially if it's the place of residence) living in that certain property.
(Tips:It is advisable to obtain a strata report before the cooling off period ends up.)   

What is a Requisition?
Requisition, often term to be the "requisition on title",  is the quires or questions and must be served (send/fax) within 21 days from the contract date by the purchaser's solicitor/conveyance to the vendor's solicitor/conveyancer.     back


Home Warranty Insurance

The Home Warranty Insurance Scheme is established under the Home Building Act 1989 and commenced on 1 May 1997.

Home warranty insurance is an important component of a comprehensive consumer protection regime for homeowners undertaking building work in NSW.


Home warranty insurance provides a safety net for homeowners undertaking residential building projects where the contract price exceeds $12,000 and a builder is unable or unwilling to honour their fundamental responsibilities under the building contract, that is, to complete the construction of a dwelling or return and rectify defective work.

If a builder is unable to honour their commitments under a contract because of insolvency, death or disappearance the home warranty insurance scheme is there to protect homeowners. The scheme is also there to protect homeowners where a builder refuses to meet their contractual obligations and has been found at fault by the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal or a court and fails to comply with a compensation (money) order in favour of the homeowner (which results in the automatic suspension of the builder's licence). Homeowners are not required to enforce the Tribunal order or initiate insolvency proceedings. They are able to claim on their home warranty policy.

Home warranty insurance is required to be obtained where the contract price is over $12,000 or, if the contract price is not known, the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved is over $12,000.

Where the contract price or the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved does not exceed $12,000, there is no legal requirement for home warranty insurance to be obtained.

Contractors who carry out residential building work must still hold an appropriate licence with Fair Trading where the labour and materials involved are valued at over $1,000.

Persons who contract and/or carry out specialist work (i.e. electrical wiring, plumbing, gas-fitting, air-conditioning and refrigeration) require a licence regardless of the value of the work.

Home owners should be wary of any builder or tradesperson who says they do not need insurance, or who suggests you do the work as an owner-builder.

Home warranty insurance needs to be provided by:

  • a builder or tradesperson before taking any money (including a deposit) from a home owner (including an owner-builder) under a residential building contract and before starting any work under that contract,
  • a 'spec' builder before starting any residential building work on a property owned by the builder,
  • a developer before entering into a contract for the sale of a property on which a builder is doing or has done residential building work for the developer,
  • an owner-builder (i.e. a home owner who did owner-builder work under an owner-builder permit) before entering into a contract for sale of the property on which residential building was done within the previous 6 years.
Applying for Insurance
Home warranty insurance must be obtained by the home building contractor. To apply to take out insurance, contractors will need to get an application form from their insurance broker.

You can minimise delays with your application by:

  • submitting a complete application,
  • including up-to-date financial records,
  • checking with your insurance broker for specific information required,
  • making sure that all the required information is attached to the form.

You are generally required to provide the following information:

  • recent balance sheet, profit and loss statement or tax returns,
  • statement of personal assets and liabilities,
  • copies of rates notices for all properties declared on the statement of personal assets and liabilities,
  • copy of current contractor licence,
  • if you were previously approved through another insurer, declaration of jobs undertaken and currently insured for the past 12 months.

The name on your licence and the name on the application form must be the same. That is, if you are:

  • a sole trader, all of the above must be only in your individual name;
  • a partnership, all of the above must be in the name of you and your partner/s;
  • a company, all of the above must be in the name of your company.

(Reference from and




A Covenant

Fencing covenants
Adjoining owners of land are liable to contribute equally to the erection and maintenance of boundary fences, but the parties may make an alternative agreement.
Commonly, subdividers wish to avoid liability to contribute to fencing as the sections of land sell. This is done by inserting a provision in the document of transfer stating that the transferor has no liability to contribute to erecting or maintaining any boundary fence between the land being transferred and any adjoining land owned by the transferor. This provision, called a fencing covenant, is shown as a memorial on the title of the transferred land.
The benefit of the fencing covenant will not pass to any purchaser of the subdivider's land. In any event, fencing covenants lapse after 12 years, and many fencing covenants on titles are extinct even though they still appear on the title. Most registered proprietors do not bother to apply to have the extinct memorial removed.
Land covenants
A restrictive covenant is a promise (or agreement) made by the owner of land (the servient land) to the owner of other land (the dominant land) that some act with respect to the servient land which could otherwise have been done will not be done. A positive covenant is a promise or agreement by the owner of the servient land that some act will be done.
Subdividers often place covenants in transfers covering matters such as the type, value and location of future buildings or restrictions on the use of land. They may also be a means for neighbours to resolve actual or potential disputes. Covenants appear on the title bearing the restriction or the obligation. It is necessary to search the transfer containing the covenants.
Covenants against fencing
A property may be subject to a covenant forbidding the erection of a fence on one or more boundaries. It seems clear that the present clause, in precluding claims, etc. in respect of the "location" of any dividing fence does not preclude claims, etc. that a fence has been erected in breach of covenant. (See clause 10.1.8.)  



We define overcharging as the term which describes the type of situation where a client/customer (or whatever term it might be called to the one who [wants to] acquire a services/products to someone else) is charge too much.

This means that there is a usual or normal fees/price that is intended for a certain services or products, but is ask/charge higher than what it should probably be or expected to be.

Others defines overcharging as short as 'excessive price', 'overload', 'to overcharge', 'to exaggerate', 'to overstate' and even as a 'burden'.

From the word overcharge (difference between the fee/price and a fee/price that would have been observed) we can see that or find that it is really irregular. Often times, some may call it and considered it illegal, similar to profiteering and price gouging. Overcharging may also be expressed as a mark-up on the benchmark price.


Double-charging can also be regarded as an overcharging. When we find out that (the thing is) we are double-charge it would only mean that there is an overcharging. In a plain word, we are double-charge so the actual fee/price is being doubled which is illegal (in most cases) or not fair enough.

Gross Overcharging

Gross overcharging is also an overcharging. Often read in some blogs that states they really been experiencing gross overcharging (that they have been charge more). This is also more likely to be found in some legal practice where they make the cases move further and charge more.

There is no better solution to this (overcharging) than to make an arrangement to the trusted entity. The entity where you can be sure of the fees they're asking for [is justified, fair and acceptable to both parties].  




Law Secret Exposed

Conveyancing is not a sexy word so most of you have never heard of it but it is good for you to know and you can save a lot of money and stress.

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring real (e.g. land or house) property from one person to another.

Who can do conveyancing in Australia?


You. The law will allow you to do your own conveyancing if you know how to.


Barrister. They are members of the Bar Association and they specialise in arguing a point of law in court. Barristers are 'Officers of the Court'. Barristers work in Chambers. Chambers are officers shared with other barristers. Barristers usually will not see clients directly but are referred by other legal professionals. Although they can do it but will choose not to because it is too simple for them.


Solicitor. This word was first used in the 15th century. It comes from the French word Soliciteur which  means 'one who conducts matters on behalf of another'. They spend most of their time outside of court. They are involved in the day-to-day affair of their client. Although solicitors do attend court, they also prepare cases for barristers to try in higher courts. Solicitors are members of the Law Society. Some solicitors will do conveyancing and some will not.


Conveyancer. A specialist in the legal aspects of buying and selling real property known as conveyancing. They are member of the Conveyancing Institute. Licensed Conveyancers were formally recognised due to the NSW Parliament passing the Conveyancers Licensing Act in 1992.


- A lawyer is an American term for anyone dealing with all levels of law.
- The term Solicitor is mainly used in UK, New Zealand, Ireland and Australia.
- The term Attorney comes from the Old French word 'Attorne' meaning a person acting for another as an agent or deputy.
- QC stands for Queen's Counsel and in NSW as of 1993 they are known as Senior Counsel (SC). They are appointed because of their high merit and not based on experience. You can see them in court wearing horsehair wig with curls at the sides and ties down the back. A QC or SC will not do conveyancing.


Some solicitors will not do conveyancing because it is too routine and there is little money in it.

Others will not do it because they do not know how to.

There are 29 law schools in Australia as of 2011 but nearly all the law schools in Australia do not offer the course in conveyancing.

Most law schools will offer a combined law or a straight law degree. A combined degree for example: a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Law, a Bachelor of Engineering and a Bachelor of Law, a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Law, a Bachelor of Art and a Bachelor of Law.

A straight law degree is faster because you get only a Bachelor of Law. One degree.

The area of law is so huge. For example you can study the following law: Law of the Sea, Criminal Law, Australian Constitutional Law, Sports Law, Law and Medicine, Islamic Law, Environmental Law, Entertainment Law, Human Rights Law, Law and Mental Health and so forth.


It is impossible to know all the law.

Therefore when you choose someone to act for you, make sure that you pick someone who specialise in their area of law that they are practising in e.g. A firm who only specialise in family law or intellectual property.

If you have a heart problem, would you like to be operated on by a surgeon who specialises in plastic surgery or would you like to be operated by a heart surgeon?


Written by

Stephen Lu, a licensed conveyancer
B. Comm, Adv Dip Conv Law, CPC, COSL, JP, ESQUIRE

Any comments and suggestions are welcome. Please contact me.
0412 567 886


What is a CPC?

Certified Practising Conveyancer (CPC)

The title of Certified Practising Conveyancer (CPC) is awarded to conveyancers who annually meet the standards set by each Division to maintain best practice through constant professional development.

Conveyancer members who qualify annually are entitled to use the CPC title, CPC post-nominal, CPC logo and slogan on their stationery, advertising and on other forms of publicity. It is a brand recognising conveyancers who are making the effort to keep up to date with developments and technology in order to deliver the best service.

The State programs are very similar but currently operate independently of each other. A national review is developing national minimum requirements across Australia, including:

  • Minimum years of experience in practice as conveyancer;
  • Minimum number of hours of Professional Development (above licence requirements in States and Territories that require compulsory professional development as a condition of licence renewal).

The national review is also considering replacement of the state logos with a national logo which is recognisable by all as a symbol of the best specialist conveyancers.  





A Witness

The full name and street address (a PO Box or DX is not acceptable) of every witness attesting the authenticity of the execution of a dealing must be stated, except for a witness:

  • attesting the affixing of a company seal, the capacity within the company must be stated;
  • attesting the execution by an attorney for a financial institution, the address is not required or
  • who is a prescribed functionary; the address may not be required where appropriate details of their appointment are stated, e.g. the registered number of a justice of the peace.

Unlike the Real Property Act 1900, the Conveyancing Act 1919 stays silent on the requirement for the name and address of the witness to a document registered in the General Register. Usually the name and address of the witness is not required, but can be requested for identification purposes, e.g. where the signature of the witness is illegible.


A question like...

CAN A wife witness the signing of mortgage for/of her husband?

How about if she is a witness for her sister?
How about if they witness in a transfer or any other documents?


The answer is...


if the witness is a member of the family - it cannot be - it would be bias,
else, if the witness is not related then ...yes.


The witness must:

  • not be a party to the dealing or document,
  • be an adult who personally knows or has been satisfied as to the identity of the party executing the dealing or document and
  • be present at the signing of the dealing or document.

And additional...


there is also a "prescribe witness" like:

  • a solicitor, barrister, registrar of a local court;
  • a licensed conveyancer, employee of a Public Trustee or employee of a trustee company who has completed an approved course of study.

The above statement, regarding the witness, can be/might be applicable in some other (related) dealings and/or document. (An information from LPI/LPMA NSW.)       back


Regarding Statutory Declaration

Statutory Declaration is a written statement stating certain facts to the best of the declarant's (the person making the declaration) knowledge or belief and is made subject to the provisions of certain legislation. A prescribed functionary (someone authorised by the appropriate Act to take the declaration) must witness the declarant's signature.


Statutory declarations must be made pursuant to the legislation applicable in the State they are made. In New South Wales, statutory declarations are made pursuant to the provisions of the Oaths Act 1900. The Oaths Act prescribes penalties for making a false declaration and/or for taking (witnessing) a declaration without authority (that is, by someone who is not a prescribed functionary).


A statutory declaration made in New South Wales shall be in the form, or to the effect of the form, in either the Eighth or Ninth Schedule of the Oaths Act 1900.


Eighth Schedule Declaration


I,......., do solemnly and sincerely declare that, and I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same to be true, and by virtue of the provisions of the Oaths Act 1900.


Ninth Schedule Declaration


I,......., of (residence), do hereby solemnly declare and affirm that [the facts to be stated according to the declarant's knowledge, belief, or information, severally]. And I make this solemn declaration, as to the matter (or matters) aforesaid, according to the law in this behalf made - and subject to the punishment by law provided for any wilfully false statement in any such declaration.


Real Property Act 1900 (Torrens title) dealing forms that require a statutory declaration, for example, Caveat (form 08X), or Application to Record Change of Name (form 10CN), have the appropriate wording incorporated in the form.


Prescribed functionaries in New South Wales:

  • justice of the peace;
  • notary public;
  • commissioner of the court for taking affidavits;
  • legal practitioner, i.e. a solicitor or a barrister with a current practising certificate issued under Part 3 of the Legal Profession Act 1987;
  • other person by law authorised to administer an oath.

A statutory declaration is similar to an oath and can only be made by a natural person. A statutory declaration on behalf of a corporation can be made by a director, secretary or some other authorised officer of the corporation who should state their name and source of knowledge and authority in making the statutory declaration.


A statutory declaration by an attorney (someone appointed under a power of attorney) must be made and signed in the name of that attorney. The attorney must only declare facts to the best of her or his knowledge or belief. (An information from LPI NSW.)    




Justice of the Peace (JP)

List of few JP's within the following Suburbs:

Bankstown Area JP

Cabramatta Area JP

1. Susan Ang 02 9708 1266 1. Dr Narith Van 02 8704 4522
2. Duc Hung Bui 02 9793 3092 2. Phiny Ung 02 9725 8906
3. Thanh Lan Bui 02 9793 9388 3. Chi Quang Lu 02 8704 3739
4. Annetta Onnie Chan 0401 242 800 4. Dr Manh Tien Nguyen 02 9726 6595
5. Stanley Hing Cheung Chan 02 9790 0551 5. Rosa Lavarato 0411 818 866
6. Grace Xiao Yan Chen 0416 079 988 6. Dr Malcolm La 02 9726 2323
7. Ji You Chen 04 1058 3821 7. Van Sanh Pham 0402 484 156
8. Chheng Chhor 02 9708 6275 8. Dr Michael Yep 02 9726 8900
9. Tao Chi 02 9707 4045 9. Rev Chi Ai Bui 02 9724 1674
10. Kevork Chichian 04 1043 1365 10. Rev Victor Yeung 0413 087 339
11. Thai Son Chu 0421 651 671 11. Milena Trujic 0407 251 207
12. Hoa Dinh 02 9793 3280 12. Van Vinh Le 02 9755 5575
13. Dr Jeanne Patricia Du Toit 02 9708 5694 13. Ken Chapman 02 9727 8820
14. Tina Duong 0416 916 338 14. Dr James Ngo 02 9727 6688
15. Siaosi Fuifui 02 8725 4086 15. Beresford Carloss 02 9727 0613
16. Ping Han 02 9790 7154 16. Rev Djuric Djurdjevic 02 9602 4358
17. Anthony Hoang Ngoc Lam 02 9796 4825 17. Ky Chhay Lim 02 9727 5355
18. Hong Diep Le 02 9707 3347 18. Thida Yang 02 9724 7811
19. Hung Son Le 04 1204 5239 19. Dr Frank Keh 02 9726 2682
20. Dr Van Nghi Le 04 0672 2757 20. Tich Huy Lu 02 9727 6222
21. Desmond Garry Lee 02 9708 3188 21. Bun Kim Chhoeu 02 9727 2999
22. Ravikash Jeet Singh 02 9790 3703 22. Stephen Sun Huat Lu 0412 567 886

Liverpool Area JP

Parramatta Area JP

1. James Chan 02 9602 0910 1. Sally Sow Fong Chan 02 9687 5188
2. Lorraine Carol Chen 02 9601 6677 2. Sow Chee Chan 02 9687 5188
3. Stephen Chensee 04 1258 8582 3. Sylvia Chan 04 0316 1688
4. Huy Leng Chhay 0414 911 591 4. Brenda Hei-Yen Cheng 04 1238 6899
5. Maria Kieu Oanh Do 0414 299 595 5. Patricia Cheng 04 1477 4833
6. Garry Jon Dunn 02 9602 4600 6. Johnny Ching 02 9894 2092
7. Kim Anh Duong 02 9602 1885 7. Daniel Kyu-Bum Choi 02 9890 7177
8. Sunny Kwong 0418 966 690 8. Michael Cheng Zhi Deng 02 9687 1041
9. Evelyn Yee Cheng Lam 0421 165 994 9. Anh Do 0420 206 969
10. Sean Matthew William Langshaw 04 1941 7683 10. Stella Kam Fung Fan 02 9687 8981
11. Kim Chhun Ly 02 9600 7733 11. Hollis Tat Sang Ho 0411 189 945
12. Rev Paul Naggar 02 9602 8466 12. Mark Kam Hung Lam 0414 298 434
13. Rangelene Prasad 0421 719 187 13. Rita Kumar 02 8835 9445
14. Shalendra Singh 0424 190 908 14. Sukhjinder Pal Singh 02 9687 6777




How Banking Reforms Benefit You

The Australian Government is introducing a range of measures which increase competition to help you get a better deal.

The first reform is a ban on mortgage exit fees on new loans from 1 July 2011.

  • Increase competition makes it easier to switch to a better deal.
  • The reforms enable more financial choices.
  • Lending institutions hiding unfair fees can be fined.
  • Some lending institutions have removed fees on existing contracts.

So talk to your lending institution today and start looking around, you have plenty of choices!

Questions to ask your Mortgage Brokers and Bankers

  1. What is the interest rate
  2. What are the lender fees
  3. Are there any bank solicitor's settlement fee (this is often hidden)
  4. Are there any bank solicitor's legal fees (this is often hidden)
  5. What are the cheques fees (most settlement will require 5 cheques or more)
  6. How much are the title and transfer charges whether by the bank or by the government
  7. Any exist costs for early charges
  8. Any cost for extra repayments

Note: "Pre-approval or conditional approval or approved in principle" ...all means that your loan is not yet finalised and still can be declined. Never believe anyone who tells you otherwise. Read this...  




We put these Referrals and Recommend them to You


If You're Looking for a/an...      

then...                                                           will Do!

Accountant: South East Tax (Andrew Chhoeu) 02 9727 2999
Acupuncture: Mouv Ly (Cnr Arthur St and Park Rd, Cabramatta)
Architect: Winston Chu 0403 325 765
Builder and Project Manager: Arthur 0412 486 418
Chinese Buns: Henry Buns (Canley Vale Rd, Canley Heights)
Electrician: Neou Electrical (Seng Hean Neou) 0418 113 176
Fried "Char Kway Teow": Dong San Restaurant (Park Rd, Cabramatta)
Real Estate Salesman in Cabramatta: Sam Tea with Laing+Simmons 0420 989 999
Thai Food: Thai Food in Bkk Shopping Centre (Park Road, Cabramatta)
Travel Agency: Connie @ Travelscene in Casula (02 9821 4661)
Vegetarian Restaurant: Loving Hut (Cabramatta Rd, Cabramatta)
Vietnamese Noodle: Pho 54 (54 Park Road, Cabramatta)







NSW Fair Trading Real Estate Fraud Prevention Guidelines


These Guidelines have been issued by the Commissioner for Fair Trading and are intended to help
real estate agents verify the identification of vendors when dealing with clients in order to prevent
real estate fraud.

Identity fraud and scams are increasingly prevalent throughout the community and the property
industry is not immune to falling victim to such events.


Two highly publicised incidents in September 2010 and March/April 2011 resulted in properties
being sold in Western Australia without the knowledge and consent of the lawful property owners.
These sales were undertaken by real estate agents who were contacted by criminals masquerading
as the true owners.  In both cases, the properties were tenanted and being managed by a real
estate agent on behalf of the registered proprietor, prior to a fraudulent request being made to sell
the property.  Contact with the agent by the fraudsters was made by telephone in addition to
other forms of contact.  The person masquerading as the owner notified the agent of new contact
details which formed the basis of future contacts.


These two events highlight how easily a fraud can commence and emphasise that agents need to
be on high alert for potential fraudulent real estate transactions.


Read more on this ...


Big banks, bad service


February 20, 2013, 6:18 pm | Rodney Lohse | Today Tonight


85-year-old Allan Fitch has been a loyal Commonwealth Bank customer for years, but now his local branch won't even serve him.

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For 78 years Allan Fitch has been a customer of the Commonwealth Bank - but that is about to end - not because Allan wants to change banks but because he has to.


His local branch won't serve him anymore.


"They've got their rules. I don't like it but other people have got to put up with it too", Allan said.


As you can appreciate, at 85 Allan is not as nimble as he once was.


He can still get to his local branch but it's standing in line and at the teller that he struggles.


"Pretty difficult really, I run out of wind. I get there, I pull up a couple of times, but I can make it", he said.


Until this week he was able to take a seat and a teller would come to him, stamp his passbook and he would be on his way.


But Allan's daughter Jodie says that stopped when the branch manager said their most loyal customer now would need to line up like everyone else.


"Now they've stopped it I've got to go in with him - he's 85 but he doesn't need his hand held", Jodie said.


It's a bit rich when you consider the CBA's Customer commitment which states: "Determined to focus on service and on service and on service.


The relationship we have with each and every customer is incredibly important to us. And that means working tirelessly every day to give all our customers the best possible service at every point of contact they have with us”


"There are a lot of people worse than me but they should be looking after them as well as me", Allan said.


CBA Statement:


"We have contacted our customer today to apologise regarding his recent experience and are committed to provide the help and support he, and other customers, may need when banking with us. Our team at Springwood will provide him with the same level of service he has received previously for many years".


See news link ...




From January 1, 2012, confining stamp duty concessions for first home buyers to newly-constructed homes valued up to $600,000. Except for off-the-plan purchases up to $600,000 by all buyers will remain until July 1, 2012


Stamp duty
Transfer duty revenue in 2010-11 was lower than originally budgeted; with $3.902 billion collected as opposed to $4.049 budgeted (down 3.6%). Transfer duty for 2011-12 is expected to decline further to $3.653 billion before making a rebound in 2012-13. The Government has followed through with previous commitments to scrap the relatively inefficient mortgage, non-real property transfers and marketable securities stamp duties by 1 July 2012 – a key taxation commitment the Property Council sought from the new Government.


First home buyers stamp duty concessions
From 1 January 2012, first home buyers will be eligible for the First Home Plus and First Home Plus One schemes only for newly constructed homes, including off-the-plan purchases. [The $7,000 First Home Buyers Grant will also remain available.]


Off-the-plan stamp duty concessions
Against a backdrop of widespread cuts elsewhere in the Budget, the exemption for all buyers of homes and apartments off-the-plan remains until July 1, 2012 – and with the Treasurer not yet ruling out its extension.


NSW State Taxes 2011
As of September 2011, NSW-OSR have this Seminar Notes. With this are the Regional Relocation Grant, the Duties, Payroll Tax and Land Tax.

Regional Relocation Grant

The (Regional Relocation Act 2011) Home Buyers Grant's object is to provide assistance to persons who purchase homes in regional areas, and are doing so as part of a relocation from a metropolitan area. In that, this act authorises the payment of a Regional Relocation Grant of $7000 in respect of an eligible home relocation.


First Home - New Home Scheme (*This replaces the First Home Plus Scheme from 1 January 2012.) The scheme is intended to help people who are acquiring a new home that is their first home or vacant land upon which they intend to build their first home.

NSW Home Builders Bonus - Senior's principal place of residence exemption (*available to persons 65 years of age or older is extended to persons between 55 and 65 years of age) This exemption from duty for new housing purchases is available to persons in that age range in respect of agreements or transfers entered into or occurring on or after 1 July 2011 and before 1 July 2012.

Section 68 exemptions - break-up of marriages and other relationships (Break-up of marriage, Break-up of de facto relationship, Break-up of domestic relationship) No duty is chargeable on a transfer, or an agreement for the sale or transfer, of matrimonial property if (1) the property is transferred, or agreed to be sold or transferred, to the parties to a marriage that is dissolved or annulled, or in the opinion of the Chief Commissioner has broken down irretrievably, or to either of them, or to a child or children of either of them or a trustee of such a child or children.

Section 63 - Deceased estates (Duty of $50 is chargeable in a transfer of dutiable property by the legal personal representative of a deceased person to a beneficiary.)

Payroll Tax

NSW payroll tax is payable by any NSW employee whose total Australian wages, including their NSW wages, exceed $678 000 for the 2011-12 financial year.

Land Tax

An owner with one or more parcels of taxable land (e.g. strata lots, investment properties, holiday houses, commercial premises, vacant land, company title units, etc) is liable for land tax.


Read more on this...





Bank 'blacklist' puts apartments at risk

Simon Johanson
September 12, 2011

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It's a reminder that prospective buyers should always sign contracts only 'subject to finance'.


As if getting a loan and finding the right property were not difficult enough for most home hunters, apartment buyers now face another hurdle – banks are keeping a "blacklist" of buildings on which they refuse to lend finance.


According to mortgage brokers, the big four banks keep a tightly held list of apartment projects for which they will not give money to borrowers because of the type of building, the quality of construction or because of investors turning over units in the building too quickly.


A list of "unacceptable" buildings obtained by BusinessDay, circulated by one of the big four banks to its mortgage brokers late in 2010, bars finance for all developments associated with the federal government's National Rental Affordability Scheme, an initiative designed to boost housing for low-income earners around the country.


Most other banks have also refused to finance investors or buyers for NRAS properties, apart from St George, which accepts borrowers for one project in Queensland.


The list of unacceptable properties also bars or severely restricts finance for at least 146 projects in Victoria, 100 in New South Wales and the ACT and a further 127 in Queensland, most of which are serviced apartments, resorts or student accommodation. The list also includes inner-city apartments, cottages on the coast west of Melbourne and a resort south-east of the city near Western Port Bay.


A development in Forster, between Newcastle and Port Macquarie, is tagged “No lending. Refer to credit hotline” on the list. Another entry on the list in Pymble, in Sydney's north, cites the developer as having difficulty obtaining an occupation certificate.


In Melbourne, a Flinders Street office conversion into one-bedroom units was deemed unsuitable by the bank "due to poor amenity" - the bedrooms had no windows - and a King Street development's "poor location" made it ineligible for residential loans, the document said. One Queensland project was barred because "there are concerns the developer may not be able to complete the project, which may impact on the saleability of existing homes".


BusinessDay cannot identify the buildings for legal reasons.


The list serves as a warning to developers to avoid projects where purchasers face stringent investment hurdles, and to buyers to be wary of entering a contract without checking if finance will be available.


Catherine Cashmore from JPP Buyer Advocates said anyone buying an apartment without a "subject to finance" clause in the contract faced the "hefty risk" they might default on the sale and lose their deposit because the bank's blacklist would mean they were unable to get finance.


Mortgage brokers say lenders are also refusing to provide finance for buyers on many apartment buildings once they reach banks' pre-set "exposure limits", commonly when 15 to 25 per cent of the total number of apartments are already financed by the one lender. "To be safe, this would mean every deal needs to be submitted 'subject to finance' or the buyer risks defaulting on the purchase," Ms Cashmore said.


Shape Home Loans mortgage broker Michael Chan said the big four banks' traditional lending restrictions on apartments of less than 50 square metres were crumbling in the face of a flood of smaller apartments coming on to the Melbourne market.


Bank of Melbourne began financing smaller, inner-city apartments of up to 35 square metres on a loan-to-value ratio of 80 per cent in June, as long as the dwellings did not include shared bathrooms or kitchens. Other banks have, since followed the trend.


NAB and Macquarie Bank will consider lending on units down to 40 square metres in size if they are in a high demand - generally inner-city - location, said Mr Chan.


ANZ will now consider any size down to 30 square metres on a significantly reduced loan-to-value ratio of under 60 per cent.


Determined buyers can get around the financial roadblocks put in place by the big banks on certain developments if they want, said Mr Chan. But buyers should be aware of the risks. The big banks refuse finance for sound reasons.


Most smaller banks do not have the resources or past experience to check and rank all developments. Shopping around or getting a broker to do the work for you can also help.


Offsetting the risk for the bank by offering an extremely low loan-to-value ratio, under 50 per cent, can also change your bank manager's mind.


A spokeswoman for CBA said the bank had a “watch list" of developments that required extra care for credit and valuations but did not have a black list of buildings it would not finance "in Victoria or elsewhere”.


A spokeswoman for NAB said: "NAB does not keep a list of buildings that the bank will not finance. We look at every inquiry on its merits and make a decision on a case-by-case basis."


Mr Chan said apartment buyers should check with their bank or mortgage broker as to whether the building in which they wanted to buy was acceptable for finance before seeking pre-approval for a loan.


Westpac and ANZ were approached for comment but did not respond.





JPs must confirm identity by seeing face

Issued: Monday, 5 March 2012

People asking Justices of the Peace and lawyers to witness documents will now be required to show their face as part of new identity check laws announced today by the Attorney General, Greg Smith SC.

Mr Smith said a case last year involving a woman who made a complaint about a policeman’s conduct after a routine traffic matter highlighted the need for the rules to be clarified.

The new laws, which come into effect on April 30, will apply to NSW statutory declarations and affidavits and cover anything which conceals a person face – including motorcycle helmets, masks, veils, scarves, niqabs and balaclavas.

Authorised witnesses, such as JPs and lawyers, will now be required to follow three additional steps:

  • see the face of the person making the NSW statutory declaration or affidavit;
  • confirm the person’s identity, and
  • certify on the document that these requirements have been met.

“The laws provide clarity to JPs, legal practitioners and the public about what is required of them, which will reduce the potential for confusion or embarrassment,” Mr Smith said.

“In some situations, it means individuals wearing full and partial face-covering garments will need to reveal their face for the purpose of identification.

“If a person is wearing a face covering, an authorised witness should politely and respectfully ask them to show their face.

“The person would only be required to show their face for as long as it is necessary to establish identity.’’

“If a person refuses to show their face, an authorised witness must decline to sign their documents unless the person has a legitimate medical reason for keeping their face covered.’’

The reforms follow changes to traffic laws, under which a driver who refuses to show their face can be jailed for up to a year or fined $5500.
The Attorney General said the reforms would enshrine in law a practice that many authorised witnesses have routinely undertaken when checking documents for services including land transfers, mortgages, banking and health care.

Authorised witnesses who do not comply with the new requirements face a fine of $220.

See Ruling on this...

See Media release on this...



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As Quoted from LPI's Website

The valuation system is continuously being monitored and improved. The Valuer General has made a number of enhancements to ensure valuations are more accurate, cost effective and easier to understand. Some of these include:







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