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Get to know Just Us….Sarah Camm

SARAH CAMM – SOLICITOR

 

What book, or series of books, would you recommend?

“On the Jellicoe Road” by Melina Marchetta. I re-read it almost every year. I’m always so nervous about recommending it though in case someone doesn’t like it and I have to stop talking to them.

 

Best holiday you’ve been on?

I have amazing memories of big family holidays growing up, but my favourite holiday was probably Koh Samui in Thailand. I had just graduated from uni and spent two weeks snorkelling and sitting on the beach drinking cocktails – heaven.

 

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

My dog, sunscreen, coffee.


If your house was burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would save?

My doll Claire. She was given to me by my Nan when I was a baby and I would be devastated if I lost her.

 

What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who start a sentence with “obviously” and follow it with something that isn’t obvious at all…

 

Least favourite Food?

Pretty much the only foods I don’t like are beetroot, pumpkin and avocado (although a tiny bit of guacamole with Mexican food is okay sometimes).

 

What phobias do you have?

Fireworks. They’re terrifying.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Netball

 

What do you like to do on your days off?

Netball

 

What else do you do for fun?

Netball.

Hahaha but also I love going out to dinner with friends & family, and catching up over delicious food, or spending time at home with my dog, JD.

 

What advice would you give to a 13 year old you?

Stop worrying so much, just be yourself and you’ll find your people.


If you could change one thing about working here, what would it be?

Tough one – either getting to wear pyjamas all day or being allowed to bring my dog JD in to work with me.

 

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?

Thinking of potential problems, and solutions to those problems, before they arise.

 

What are three career lessons you’ve learned thus far?

  1. Try and answer your own questions first, but ask for help when you need it.
  2. Stand by your (well researched & considered) opinions, and be prepared to back yourself and argue your point, but also…
  3. Be open minded, listen to criticism and re-evaluate your arguments where necessary

Sarah is part of the Kelvin Grove branch team & presently she is focused on Wills, Enduring Power Of Attorney & Estate Planning.   If you have any queries Sarah & our dedicated team can assist you in all aspects of estate planning – call/email Just Us Lawyers or complete our enquiry form for a quote today.


Selling? Don’t get caught out paying Double Commission

By Natalie Smyth

When it comes to selling residential property in Queensland, most people will engage the services of a real estate to assist them with marketing the property and introducing prospective buyers to the property. 

The contractual relationship between the seller and the real estate agent with respect to the agent’s fees and commission for marketing and selling the property is formalised by way of a Property Occupations Form 6 Appointment and reappointment of a property agent, resident letting agent or property auctioneer.

Many Sellers do not obtain legal advice regarding the Form 6 and as a result are uncertain on when commission will and won’t be payable to the real estate agent who has been appointed by them by way of the Form 6.

Don’t get caught out paying Double Commission when Selling residential property in Queensland

Term of Appointment

Sellers can appoint the agent for a single appointment for a particular service or services, or for a continuing appointment. A single appointment will specify the start and end date for the appointment, whereas a continuing appointment will specify a start date but will be continuing until the service is provided, or in most cases, the sale is complete.

Type of agency

The type of agency the Seller selects in the form 6 will have a bearing on when the Seller will be required to pay the appointed agent commission. For example, should the Seller appoint the agent “exclusively”, the Seller must pay the agent commission whether or not the agent, a different agent, or any other person sells the property during the term of the appointment. For example, If the Seller has also appointed a different real estate agent who is the effective cause of the sale, the Seller may be liable to pay commission twice, being once to the agent who was the effective cause of the sale, and twice, to the other agent who was appointed exclusively by the Seller.

REIQ terms of appointment

Annexed to a Form 6 is an REIQ Appointment of Real Estate Agency form, which contains Essential Terms and Conditions regarding the appointment. We have identified that these terms, which are often overlooked by Sellers, make provisions for when commission will be paid to an agent after the Contract for Sale is signed by the Seller and the Buyer.

If you are selling a property in Queensland, we recommend that you obtain independent legal advice from our property and commercial solicitor Natalie Smyth prior to signing a Form 6 and an REIQ Appointment of Real Estate Agent form. Failure to obtain legal advice prior to signing these documents may result in you having to pay double commission to an agent, or being liable to pay commission when a Contract of sale is terminated by no fault on your part.

We also recommend that you seek pre contract advice from our team at Just Us Lawyers prior to signing any Contract for the Sale and Purchase of residential or commercial property in Queensland.

Just Us Lawyers – for the best Conveyancing lawyers in Brisbane call/email Just Us Lawyers or complete our enquiry form for a quote today


What is Verification of Identity (VOI)?

By Magenta Cameron

VOI is the process of proving your identity. This can be done by providing up to 100 points of ID, similar to when you get your driver’s licence or changing your address. Certified copies of each proof of ID should be held on file. When you are involved in a conveyance you will need to verify your identity before signing your Transfer documents. 

What ID can I use? 

At least one photo ID is required and two are preferable, such as your Drivers Licence and Passport. If you aren’t able to provide those two, you can use other items such as a Medicare Card or Credit Card to make up the 100 points.

Who can certify the copies of your ID and witness your signature on the Transfer? 

If you’re in Australia, for all Queensland documents, only a Commissioner for Declarations, Justice of the Peace or Solicitor can certify original copies and witness your signature on the Transfer. There are Justices of the Peace located in many shopping centres and Courthouses all across the country. If you aren’t sure of one in your area, you can check the Queensland listing here.

If you’re overseas, the following persons can witness your documents and ID:

  • an Australian Consular Officer;
  • a Notary Public;
  • an Australian Legal Practitioner or Lawyer; or
  • a New Zealand Lawyer.

There are different forms required for different witnessing officers so ensure that you confirm with your Conveyancer who you will be using to ensure you have the correct forms.

Just Us Lawyers – for the best Conveyancing lawyers in Brisbane call/email Just Us Lawyers or complete our enquiry form for a quote today

 


Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty: Foreign Buyers Beware!

BY SAM RYALL

Foreign buyers beware!  Coming into legislative force as of 1 October 2016, the Queensland Government through the Department of Treasury, has implemented a three (3) percent duty surcharge on all foreign purchases of residential property in Queensland. [1]  The surcharge will apply to foreign purchases taking place on or after 1 October 2016 (any contracts or agreements signed by a foreign purchaser or ‘acquirer’ before 1 October 2016 are not liable).

What is AFAD duty and how is it calculated?

Colloquially dubbed the ‘Foreign Investor Tax’ [2], Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty or ‘AFAD’, it is a three (3) percent surcharge on foreign purchases in addition to the standard stamp duty that a foreign purchaser normally pays.

Who does AFAD apply to?

So you may be wondering, am I or aren’t I a foreign purchaser or ‘acquirer’ for the purposes of the legislation?  Good question!  Part 2 of the Duties Act classifies foreign acquirers into three (3) separate categories, namely:

  1. Foreign persons – An individual other than an Australian citizen or permanent resident. [3]  Please note that the exemption on who is classified as a foreign person as part of the Federal Government’s Foreign Investment Review Board (‘FIRB’) approval differs to State AFAD duty. That is, under the FIRB scheme a ‘foreign person’ who buys property as a joint tenant with their spouse who is an Australian citizen/ permanent resident or New Zealand citizen is exempt from FIRB approval. However, a foreign acquirer under the Duties Act is not afforded the same treatment i.e. a foreign acquirer will need to pay AFAD on their interest on the purchase property regardless of their spouse’s citizenship or residency status.
  2. Foreign Corporation – A corporation incorporated outside Australia or subject to a foreign person having a controlling interest of 50% or more. [4]
  3. A Trustee of a Foreign Trust – A trust where at least 50% of the trust beneficiaries are foreign interests. [5]

What type of purchases or acquisitions does AFAD duty apply to?

Broadly speaking, AFAD applies to ‘AFAD Residential Land’ consisting of land which is used for residential purposes and is (but not limited to) an established building or dwelling [6], vacant land where development will be undertaken or a commercial building converted into residential purposes.  AFAD Residential Land does not apply to short term accommodation such as hotels, dormitories, motels [7] or commercial/business buildings.

Exemptions from AFAD Duty

In certain circumstances, foreign acquirers may be exempt from AFAD or apply for ‘ex gratia relief’.  However, the eligibility criteria for such discretionary relief is strict and onerous.  Essentially, the foreign acquirer or ‘entity’ must satisfy all the following conditions [8]:

  1. The foreign acquirer must be ‘Australian-based’; and
  2. The foreign acquirer must have complied with the FIRB requirements for the purchase; and
  3. The foreign acquirer must meet regulatory standards most notably regarding corporations law and taxation law; and
  4. The development that the foreign acquirer is involved with must be ‘significant’; and
  5. The foreign acquirer must make use of Australian goods, services and personnel in the development of the AFAD residential land.

A Final Word

By bringing in AFAD, the Queensland Government is clearly seeking to minimise the impact of foreign investment on domestic first home buyers and investors in Queensland.  However, AFAD is still in its legislative infancy and not without criticism, most notably from the Property Council of Australia [9] who contend that it could increase the cost of newly constructed homes and equate to less jobs due to additional costs imposed on development projects.

If you are a foreign purchaser and are concerned as to the implications of AFAD on your purchase of property in Queensland, do not hesitate to contact either our Kelvin Grove or Wilston offices. If you, or someone else you know, needs help with this process, why not fill out an enquiry form, we would be happy to assist and advise over your rights and obligations with respect to AFAD.

[1] This legislative amendment is indicated in Section 244(2) of the Duties Act 2001 (Qld).

[2] Marland, Brad, ‘Queensland Treasurer Announces Relief from Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty’, Gadens, 26 September 2016.

[3] Section 245 of the Duties Act 2001 (Qld)

[4] Sections 236 (1)(2) of the Duties Act 2001 (Qld).

[5]Section 237 of Duties Act 2001 (Qld).

[6]Section 232 of the Duties Act 2001 (Qld).

[7]Rostron Carlyle Lawyers, 20 October 2016, ‘Additional Foreign Acquirer Duty’ Queensland OSR Release Ruling<http://rostroncarlyle.com/additional-foreign-acquirer-duty-queensland-osr-releases-ruling/>.

[8]For further guidance on these conditions please consult ‘DA000.15.1—Additional foreign acquirer duty—ex gratia relief for significant development’,28 September 2016 Office of State Revenue Public Ruling – Queensland Treasury.

[9]Property Law Council of Australia, Queensland Government Ignores Repeated Warnings about Poorly Conceived Legislation http://www.propertycouncil.com.au/Web/Content/Media_Release/QLD/2016/Queensland_Government_rushes_through_high_risk_tax.aspx,17 June 2016, Property Law Council of Australia, Media Release.


Deposits, the forgotten middle child of Contract conditions


By Magenta Cameron

All conveyancing contracts in Queensland include a deposit. This is paid in either a lump sum or instalments to the stakeholder listed as on the Contract. This stakeholder is usually the Real Estate Agent, however if there isn’t one, or they don’t have a trust account, it is held by the seller’s solicitor. As your Conveyancing lawyers in Brisbane, Just Us Lawyers, manage a trust account to be used for this purpose.

INITIAL DEPOSIT

The initial deposit is a sum which is due either on one party signing the Contract, or a calculated date after the signing, but prior to the Cooling Off date. If no date is specified, then the deposit is due when the buyer signs the Contract.

BALANCE DEPOSIT

The balance deposit, if there is one, is a further amount which is due on a calculated date, usually on or after the unconditional date.

HOW MUCH IS PAYABLE?

A common question that Conveyancers and agents are asked is, what’s a normal amount? The total amount of deposit should not be more than 10% of the purchase price or 20% for Off the Plan Contracts. Other than this guide, it is up to the Buyer how much deposit they want to put down. It is suggested that you talk to the Agent before however, as they will know if there is an amount the seller is expecting as deposit. Also, if the seller thinks the amount offered is low, they may not believe the offer is serious.

DUE DATES FOR PAYMENT

So what does (or can) happen if you don’t pay your deposit by the due date? Well, you then become in default of the Contract. Once in default, the seller may terminate the Contract and make a claim to recover the unpaid deposit. For example, if you paid an initial deposit of $1,000.00 however if you were late to pay the balance deposit of $15,000.00; the seller can terminate the Contract and sue you for the remaining $15,000.00.

If the deposit/s is/are paid on time and there is a Real Estate Agent involved, they will hold the deposit in their trust account until settlement. Once settlement has been completed they will deduct their commission and pay any balance to the seller.

TERMINATION OF CONTRACT

If the Contract terminates under a condition of the Contract, the Seller may be entitled to claim the deposit as a penalty.   You should seek legal advice prior to entering into the Contract to establish your rights, in the event of such a matter arising.

Just Us Lawyers – for the best Conveyancing lawyers in Brisbane call/email Just Us Lawyers or complete our enquiry form for a quote today


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