Unlimited Contract Review
 

Looking to buy a property but are unsure of what you are buying? Are you looking at multiple properties at once?

 

Before you place an offer or pay a holding deposit, you need to get the contract reviewed by a licensed conveyancer or solicitor. By subscribing to Stewart Law Conveyancing’s unlimited contract review service we will review the contract for sale on your prospective property or properties and provide you with sound legal advice. Should you proceed to purchase a property the $99 fee for our contract review services will go towards your final fee! You are under no obligation to use our conveyancing services or purchase the property.

Simply fill out the contact form below, or provide your details and we will give you a call within one business day to talk you through the details.  Submit your contract review via email to conveyaning@stewartlaw.com.au Please make sure to include your contact details.

Buying Property in Sydney or NSW

 

As soon as you find a property that you’re interested in, ask for a copy of the contract from the agent. We will review the contract and let you know if there are any clauses that need amending or anything else that you should be aware of before placing any offer. 

Once we know what is required for your conveyancing, we can advise you the professional fee and let you know about any other disbursements that you can expect along the way.

Conveyancing costs are comprised of two elements:

Professional Fee: This covers absolutely everything we do to manage your conveyancing, including:

  • Reviewing the contract and negotiating with the vendor’s solicitor for any amendments

  • Arranging building and pest inspections

  • Examining the strata inspection report (if applicable)

  • Looking after the formal exchange of the Contract of Sale

  • Arranging the payment of stamp duties

  • Ensuring that any outstanding arrears from the current owner are paid before you take possession (e.g. council or water rates).

  • Find out if any government authority has any current or future interest in the land.

  • Find out any information that may not have been previously disclosed (such as illegal building work)

  • Calculating adjustments for council and water rates for the property settlement

  • Liaising with your financial institution to arrange settlement

  • Attending settlement with the vendors conveyancer and your financial institution

  • Overseeing the change of title with the Department of Lands

Disbursements: Disbursements are the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by us in completing your conveyancing. We pay for these on your behalf and include them on our final invoice. A few examples of disbursements include searches (council, water, land tax), building and pest inspection reports and the settlement fee.
 

Conveyance Steps

Step 1: Contract Review

Step 2: Exchange of Contracts

Step 3: Settlement

Submit your contract review via email to conveyancing@stewartlaw.com.au Please make sure to include your contact details.

 
Transferring Property in Sydney & NSW

 

As all property transactions are unique, our professional fee differs accordingly. However, by calling us on 02 8960 1118, we can talk through your individual needs and provide you with an obligation-free quote.

Below is a list of the type of things we do to manage the conveyancing of your property (all of which is included in our professional fee):

  • Before your property is listed, we prepare the Contract of Sale and obtain all relevant title searches that need to be attached. When ready, we provide you and your real estate agent with a copy.

  • When you’ve found a buyer, we negotiate any additional terms with their conveyancer/ solicitor and finalise the Contract of Sale.

  • We organise the Exchange of Contracts with the buyer’s conveyancer or solicitor.

  • Once exchanged, we advise your bank or credit provider (the ‘discharging mortagee’) that you have sold the property.

  • Prior to settlement, we organise for you to sign the ‘Transfer’ (the document that passes ownership of the property from seller to the buyer).

  • Closer to the settlement date, we check through the final figures and obtain a payout figure from the mortgagee. We also check that you are up-to-date with all your rates and levies (e.g. council rates, water, strata fees).

  • We arrange and attend settlements with the buyers conveyancer and your financial institution.

The time has come to sell and move on. But what do you need to do in order to get your property ready for sale?

 

Step 1: Contract Preparation

Before your property can be advertised for sale, it is a legal requirement that you have a contract prepared so it can be given to any prospective buyers. In order to prepare your contract, we need to obtain all the mandatory documents that need to be included (such as a council zoning certificate, a copy of the title and other title documents, strata plans, sewer diagram and any other documents). We will also write any special clauses that may be required for your contract. Once the contract is drafted, we will provide a copy to you and your agent. When you have found a buyer and have negotiated the terms of the sale, we will update the contract accordingly and liaise with the real estate agent and the purchaser’s conveyancer to organise the ‘exchange of contracts’.

 

Step 2: Exchange of contracts

At exchange, two copies of the contract are printed. One is signed by you and the other by the purchaser. These contracts are then ‘exchanged’ so that each party holds the contract signed by the other party. The purchaser will pay the deposit at this time (usually 10 percent) and the contracts will be dated. This is the point at which the purchaser becomes ‘legally bound’ to complete the transaction, subject to any cooling-off provisions.

 

Step 3: Settlement

After the contracts have been exchanged, we then need to prepare for ‘settlement’, which usually occurs approximately6 weeks after exchange. If you have a mortgage on the property, we need to advise the discharging mortgagee that you have sold the property. We will also organise for you to sign the ‘Transfer’ (the document that passes ownership of the property from seller to the buyer). Closer to the settlement date, the buyer’s conveyancer will send through settlement figures for us to check and we will obtain a payout figure from the mortgagee. All rates and levies are adjusted as at the date of settlement and if any are unpaid, these will come out of the sale proceeds. On the day of settlement, we will attend on your behalf. Your mortgagee will be paid out and we can bank any surplus funds directly into your bank account.

Submit your contract review via email to conveyancing@stewartlaw.com.au Please make sure to include your contact details.

 
Starta Title Properties

Changing an existing property from one Torrens title to several separate strata titles, which can then be sold individually, can increase the value of the total property. At Stewart Law Conveyancing we can assist you with this process.

When buying the property, have a plan on whether you’re going to:

  • buy and hold the property

  • buy and sell off the separate strata units

  • sell the units off-the-plan before registration of the strata plan

This is important because the decision you make may affect your financial outcome.

 

Step 1

Begin by contacting the local council and speak to a town planner about checking the zoning, as well as their requirements for approval of strata plan and the timing for strata approval. It will also be important to check on the number of car park requirements as the Development Control Plan (DCP) may have minimum requirements. The DCP may be available online at the council’s website.

 

Step 2

Next, see a land surveyor. They will advise you on the exact size of the land and any encroachments by or upon the property plus any easements or covenants on the title. They will prepare your strata plan to comply with council’s requirements and coordinate your development application (DA) and supporting documents. They will also attend to lodgment for registration of the draft strata plan at Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA) and prepare a plan of redefinition which may be required by LPMA.

 

Step 3

Contact all relevant authorities, for example, Sydney Water, to investigate requirements for separate metering for each lot and related costs.

 

Step 4

Arrange a pest and building inspection of the property with particular attention to the foundations, sewers and fire rating of walls. One of the main costs is compliance with fire safety requirements, so be sure to get a quote for fire safety upgrades.

 

Step 5

We will then assist draft or review the contract for sale and ensure that all aspects are legally compliant. We will advise you on zoning, land tax, existing building compliance, heritage issues and, among other details and leases attached to the contract.

 

The two main issues in strata conversion are:

1. Council approval

On processing of the DA, council will advise of required approvals, the main concern being fire safety standards which are controlled by the Building Code of Australia.

 

2. SEPP 10

State Environmental Planning Policy No. 10 – Retention of Low Cost Rental Accommodation (SEPP 10) commenced on 6 July 1984, amended January 2000. This planning instrument aims to retain low-cost rental accommodation by allowing for councils to assess the possible impact of development on low-cost rental accommodation. Any residential flat building, boarding house or hostel for potential strata conversion may be affected so you would be wise to check the SEPP 10 requirements.

 

Registration

When council has approved the DA, the following documents will be lodged at LPMA:

  • Draft strata plan showing floor plan detailing individual lots/storage and carspace and common property

  • Location plan showing the land and dimensions in relation to street frontages and adjoining properties

  • Schedule of unit entitlement (UE), each of which is based on the size/value of each lot and gives voting rights to each owner and strata levies are based the UE.

  • Section 88B Instrument – documents which create easements, access for services and drainage, rights of way, etc

  • Certificate from council or private certifier confirming strata plan complies with the DA

  • Draft by-laws adopting either standard by-laws pursuant to Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 or others specified

  • Contact details for owners corporation

Registration should take place within 2–4 weeks from date of lodgment and brings the common property into existence which vests in the owners corporation. The title for the common property is sent to the party who lodged the plan and certificate for each lot will be sent to the mortgagee or owner (if there is no mortgagee). 

 
Retail & Commercial Leases

 

When it comes to commercial or retail leases, a lot of people don’t understand just how complex a commercial lease can be and how easily it can be fraught with potential problems. Unlike residential leases, commercial leases can have many far-reaching implications if not handled correctly.

In New South Wales, the Retail Leases Act 1994 has undergone some significant changes that impact on the negotiation and drafting of leases for retail businesses. Retail leases differ to commercial leases and are covered under a different set of laws. Whether you are the lessee or lessor of a retail property, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced solicitor/conveyancer to ensure that your rights and obligations are adequately protected during the course of the lease.

Things to consider when you are the landlord for a commercial lease:

  • Obtaining appropriate security on the lease. This may involve requesting a bank guarantee or cash deposit, which is usually to the value of three months rent.

  • Whether the lessor or lessee is responsible for the fit-out of the premises and determining who will own the fit-out at the end of the lease, as well as determining who is responsible for refurbishing the premises at the end of the lease.

  • As most commercial leases exceed three years (including options to renew) this means they need to be registered with the NSW Land Titles Office. In order to register, consent must be obtained from your mortgagee for the lease.

  • General landlord duties in terms of maintenance and access of common areas, lobbies, lifts, toilets, and related areas. Do any strata levies apply? What are the rules and guidelines for the building?

 

Our Sydney-based team can assist you with:

  • Drafting retail and commercial leases.

  • Review and advice on retail and commercial leases.

  • Negotiation of terms of retail and commercial leases.

  • Advice on lease dispute.

  • Mediation of lease dispute.

  • Legal representation at NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearings for lease disputes.

 
Mortgage & Refinancing

 

 

When it comes to buying property many purchasers pay little attention to their loan contracts. Prior to securing your finance or even after settlement Stewart Law Conveyancing can assist you in fully understanding what it is you are signing.

Mortgage documents can be quite lengthy and complex but in general they cover items such as the purpose of the loan, security and the fees and charges associated. Our expert solicitors or conveyancers will explain all common clauses which may apply to your mortgage, your responsibilities to service the loan, the lenders responsibilities to you as a borrower and all other necessary information required to provide you with proper and sound advice.

One of the most common areas of concern for borrowers is what fees will be charged. These fees can include but are not limited to:

  • Bank fees (application fee, bank cheque fee, valuation fee, loan maintenance fee);

  • Government charges (mortgage registration fee, mortgage stamp duty, transfer duty (etc);

  • Other fees and charges (any other unique fee which does not fall under bank or government fees, such as a search service fee);

  • Bank discharge fees – only charged if you discharge the mortgage before a particular term has expired. This fee may include bank and legal costs of preparing the discharge and may begin from around $400, but will be ascertainable when the discharge happens;

  • Government discharge fees – This is payable to the bank or lender in reimbursement of Land Titles Office fees and charges if incurred by your lender.

Although different lenders have different policies at Stewart Law Conveyancing our expert solicitors and conveyancers will work with you and try and negotiate better terms where possible. 

Developers

 

 

We understand the complexities associated with delivering complex projects. From small to large developments Stewart Law Conveyancing can effectively interface with all levels of government (local, state, commonwealth) in order to assist, advise and negotiate development applications and approvals.

Our expert solicitors and conveyancers can advise you on all aspects of residential, commercial and industrial developments. Our extensive experience can assist you across the full project lifecycle (planning and approval, subdivision, and sale). Stewart Law Conveyancing can work with you to identify potential issues and provide you with workable solutions and options.

Our team of solicitors and conveyancers can assist by acting or advising you on:

  • Planning and DA advice;

  • Land Tax and other Tax obligations, such as GST and Stamp Duties;

  • Government authority approval phases;

  • Financing and tax-effective structures;

  • Off the Plan sales;

  • Staged or Mixed Use Developments;

  • Strata plans;

  • Sub-divisions;

  • Leases.