Buying and selling a property can be one of the most important decisions that you will ever make, but the process doesn’t have to be stressful.

Call us at Adelta Legal and talk to one of our property lawyers about your matter on a no obligation free basis. Alison Evenden and Catherine Schettini will help keep you fully informed along the way and take the stress out of your next property purchase or sale. Whether it be a residential or investment property, we are here to help you. Our fees are fixed and competitive. We also handle subdivisions, leasing and commercial property transactions. Our many services include:

Conveyancing

The sale and purchase of land involves a process called “conveyancing”. This is the process by which the legal ownership of land is changed from one person or entity to another. Adelta Legal can assist in all aspects of conveyancing, whether you are buying or selling residential property or commercial property.

There are several stages to conveyancing which commence from the time the contract is signed. There are government searches, finance arrangements to be organised, preparation of documents and title searching. Then there is the adjustment of outgoings, attending to stamp duty and settlement. There could be matters to do with encumbrances, Strata or Community Titles, land divisions or stamp duty exemptions which may also need to be attended to as well as GST and capital gains issues when dealing with investment or commercial properties.

Conveyancing is a complex series of tasks that requires knowledge and skill. It is a misconception that conveyancing is a simple process that takes little time.

Adelta Legal charges fixed fees for all residential conveyancing. Our fixed fees are all inclusive and we do not charge any “hidden” fees for administration, file maintenance or fees to attend settlement, as is often the case with other conveyancers and lawyers.

Adelta Legal has a reputation of acting in all matters efficiently and at reasonable cost. Being solicitors, we can offer advice in a broader sense relating to a wide range of issues including wills and estates which may have an effect on your property transaction.

Ways Of Owning Property

When buying property in two or more names, you need elect how you will own the property. Adelta Legal can help you determine the best method of owning your property by considering your individual circumstances and estate planning needs. This will assist you in making an informed choice and avoid costly changes in the future.
The two ways to own property are set out below:

Joint Tenants
When property is owned as joint tenants, each party jointly owns the whole of the property. Should one of the owners die, ownership of the property will automatically pass to the remaining owners named on the title. This happens regardless of what the deceased person’s will might say. This method of owning property is common between married couples or domestic partners so that it passes easily to the survivor without the need for the possibly unnecessary cost of obtaining a grant of probate.

Tenants In Common
When property is owned by two or more parties as tenants in common, each party owns a fixed portion of the property separately from the other owner(s). If one owner dies, their portion forms part of their estate and passes to the person(s) named in their Will as beneficiary.

For example, unrelated purchasers, de facto couples and in some second marriage situations, holding as tenants in common is the most appropriate.

Form 1 Preparation

The Vendor (the person selling) of property must provide the Purchaser with a Statement called a Form 1. This document discloses to the Purchaser all the information that the Vendor is required to disclose under the law, for instance whether there are any encumbrances or other restrictions to the property.

It is important to ensure the accuracy of the information disclosed as an incorrectly prepared Form 1 can give the Purchaser additional cooling-off rights. Adelta Legal can prepare the Form 1 and carry out all the relevant government and statutory searches at a fixed fee.

If you are a Purchaser, Adelta Legal can also advise you in relation to Form 1 documents prepared by Agents or the Vendor’s representative.

Contracts For Sale And Purchase Of Residential Property

If you are selling your property privately without a real estate agent Adelta Legal can assist you with the necessary contract and disclosure documentation and guide you through the process. You will not then be paying any commission on the sale and we charge a competitive fixed fee for the preparation of the documentation.

Cooling Off

If you have signed a contract to purchase land you are entitled to a cooling-off period of two clear business days, commencing from the date that you were served with the Form 1 document. During the cooling-off period you can give notice to the Vendor that you wish to rescind the contract. Many people use the cooling-off period to obtain a property inspection report of the property.

In some circumstances, such as purchasing a property at auction, you may be requested to waive your cooling-off rights. If this is the case, then you will be required to obtain independent legal advice and both you and the solicitor must sign a waiver certificate known as a Form 3. Adelta Legal can advise of you of your rights and the implications or signing the From 3 and sign all necessary documents required to satisfy the waiver.

Family Transfers

It is not uncommon for family members to wish to transfer real property to other members of their family. This may be for a number of reasons ranging from estate planning considerations, limiting taxation or simply wishing to make a gift. Many people don’t realise that stamp duty is still applicable in these transactions, even if no money actually changes hands. Adelta Legal can advise on the most cost effective ways of achieving the intended outcome in these types of transactions.

Life Tenancy Agreements

Life Tenancy Agreements give a person a right to live in a home for that person’s lifetime. Often the Life Tenant is not required to pay rent, but may have other obligations under the Agreement. Whilst Life Tenancies are often created under a Will, they may also be established to protect a person’s interest or to satisfy Centrelink’s “Granny Flat” provisions. For instance, where parents have contributed to the purchase of their son or daughter’s home on the condition that the parents can reside in the home together with their son/daughter free of rent.

Adelta Legal can advise you of how to protect your rights in relation to Life Tenancy Agreements, in particular your rights on ceasing to reside at the property and to ensure that the Agreement does not conflict with Centrelink requirements.

Caveats

A caveat allows you to register an interest you may have in land or real estate. The purpose of a caveat is give notice of your interest in the property and to prevent any further dealings with the property.

Not all interests are caveatable interests: for example, the fact that you may be owed money by someone does not automatically mean that you have a right to lodge a caveat against that person’s property. Interests that commonly are the subject of a caveat are unregistered mortgages or leases or equitable interests in the property

Adelta Legal can assist in advising whether or not you have a caveatable interest that can be noted on land or real estate. We can also assist in the preparation and lodgment of caveats as well as advising on the removal or withdrawal of caveats.

Mortgages

A mortgage is a security interest that is registered over land or real estate. The most common mortgages are those lodged by banks when you borrow money to purchase a property. However, mortgages can also be registered over property by private individuals as security for a debt, such as a loan.

Adelta Legal can advise prospective lenders of their right to register a mortgage and prepare all necessary documentation, including loan agreements, mortgages and associated documents required to register a mortgage. We can also assist in arranging the discharge of mortgages once they have been repaid in full.

Additionally Adelta Legal can provide assistance and advice relating to Reverse Mortgages, sometimes called Senior’s Loans. These mortgages allow seniors to borrow against the existing equity in their home, without needing to make regular repayments. Often, before a bank will finalise a Reverse Mortgage, the borrower is required to obtain legal advice and have the bank’s documents witnessed by a solicitor. Adelta Legal can assist in this regard.

Land Division

Adelta Legal can assist you in sub-divisions and boundary re-alignments. Land Divisions and re-alignments involve a minefield of red tape involving surveyors, financial institutions, councils and government departments. Adelta Legal can help you make sense of these requirements.

The first step in sub-division or a boundary re-alignment is to contact a surveyor and make enquires of the local council. The surveyor will prepare a plan to be lodged and approved by the Council and the Development Assessment Commission. Once the plan has been approved by all the relevant authorities, Adelta Legal can assist in the preparation and lodgment of all documentation required to be lodged with the Lands Titles Office to have new Certificates of Title issued including:

  • The preparation of RTU or RTC documents;
  • Arranging for any necessary Mortgagee consents or consents of other interested parties (eg holders of any registered easements);
  • The drafting of By-Laws if any sub-division results in the creation of a Community Title.

Matters Concerning Strata Titles

Adelta Legal can assist clients who require advice in relation to Strata By-Laws or any disputes that may have arisen as a result of ownership of a Strata property. We can also assist clients who wish to obtain some advice before buying or selling a Strata property.

Leases

A lease is a legally binding document outlining the relationship between the Lessor (landlord) and Lessee (tenant). It sets out all relevant terms and conditions and identifies the rights and responsibilities of both the Lessor and the Lessee.

The Lease will outline the amount of rent to be paid, the term, any options to renew the lease, who is responsible for ongoing expenses, what happens in the event of default and how disputes will be resolved.

Adelta Legal can assist in all aspects of commercial leasing including:

  • Advice in relation to rights under the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995;
  • Preparation of Leases and Disclosure Statements required under the Act, in particular we can tailor specific clauses to meet your individual commercial requirements;
  • Advice to tenants prior to signing a Lease, including review of all documentation and assisting in negotiations with the Landlord;
  • Advice in regards to Lessor’s or Lessee’s rights;
  • Preparation of director’s and other guarantees;
  • Arranging for mortgagee and other consents;
  • Arranging for stamping of documents for stamp duty purposes;
  • Arranging the registration of Leases;
  • Assignment, variation of surrender of existing Leases;
  • Preparation of and advice in relation to Sub-Lease arrangements.

Key People for Property & Conveyancing