Residential Property

It can be both financially and emotionally challenging to buy or sell a home in Queensland. The best way to approach this challenge is to fully understand the legal implications. To be confident in your purchase or sale of residential property, you can contact us and obtain advice before signing any contract.

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyancing is a specialty area of law which involves the legal transfer of ownership of property from one person to another. When you buy or sell a property, there are legal and administrative processes that must be completed. Whether you are buying or selling a residential property, you would benefit from having a solicitor represent your interests during the transaction.

If you are selling your home, you can seek advice about the sales contract, inclusions, disclosure statements, your legal obligations to sitting tenants, and any special conditions that you might like to include.

If you are buying a house, a solicitor can prepare or review your legal documents, and crucially, make thorough enquiries to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises (such as caveats or other interests lodged on the land title).

Most residential property sales in Queensland (apart from auction sales) are subject to a buyer’s cooling-off period of five days. If you, as the buyer, decide not to proceed with the purchase, you can give notice that you wish to withdraw during this period (you will have to pay a percentage of the purchase price of the property as a penalty).

What is an Off-the-Plan Contract?

Buying “off-the-plan” means purchasing a property before it is fully constructed. The purchase is usually based on architectural renderings, schematics, or surveyor’s plans.

Buying an apartment or house off-the-plan can be particularly stressful because you have not had the chance to walk through a finished home before you agree to purchase. In addition, the construction phase can take months or even years, and you may experience delays outside your control. However, there are advantages to buying off the plan, as you may be able to buy the property at a discount compared to a completed property, and the home may even increase in value during the intervening period.

In Queensland, an off-the-plan contract must include a contract of sale and a disclosure statement. The contract will cover non-standard contingencies for delays and construction changes. It is highly recommended to consult our legal team before you sign an off-the-plan contract, as it may be possible to negotiate clauses that are not in your favour.

What is a Body Corporate?

A townhouse or unit is usually part of a community title scheme. When you buy a unit, you enter a relationship with the other owners in the scheme and body corporate. The body corporate is composed of all the owners, who decide issues about maintenance and repairs on the common property.

All members of the body corporate share ownership of the common areas (such as the stairwell). All occupants are subject to the body corporate by-laws. These rules govern the conduct of owners and occupiers such as acceptable noise levels and parking.

If you are a seller you need to be aware of your obligations under legislation such as the Property Occupations Act 2014 and Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997.

Our lawyers can explain the ramifications of buying or selling property in a community title scheme.

We can help whether you are buying or selling land, a house, a unit, or commercial premises. We understand the Queensland conveyancing process and can explain your rights and obligations under the various laws affecting property, help you carry out due diligence, and protect your interests. We provide the full spectrum of conveyancing and property services, and our clients can have confidence and peace of mind knowing that their transaction is being handled by a qualified lawyer who will be available to answer any questions.

If you need assistance, contact one of our lawyers at [email protected]  or call 07 3391 7511 for expert legal advice.