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July 2017

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Buyers, has insurance got you bamboozled?

Two topics which have many prospective Buyers mystified are Body Corporate Building Insurance, what it covers and what it does not cover, and Vacant Land Insurance, do i really need it… 


Buyers looking to purchase a property that is part of a strata title can find information surrounding Body Corporate Building Insurance somewhat ambiguous. Often prospective buyers are under the impression that the Body Corporate Building Insurance is all inclusive – that they can rely solely on that insurance for any unforeseen circumstances or claims that may arise during the settlement process or after settlement. This in fact, could not be further from the truth and Buyers are at risk of being liable for damage caused to the property, land, or third parties, that are not normally covered by the Body Corporate Building Insurance.

While all Body Corporate Building Insurance policies will differ slightly in their inclusions and exclusions, some of the items that one could expect such a policy to include might be:

  • common areas;
  • garden equipment;
  • wiring;
  • lifts;
  • swimming pools;
  • car parks;
  • walls;
  • windows;
  • gardens; and
  • ceilings and floors.

Some Body Corporate Insurance policies may include cover for some additional items found in common areas. These may include things such as:

  • carpets within a hallway, entrance or lobby;
  • mirrors;
  • indoor and outdoor furniture;
  • barbecue equipment; and
  • pot plants.

Items that are not normally covered by Body Corporate Building Insurance are items such as:

  • Public Liability inside the Lot;
  • carpets;
  • light fittings;
  • mobile or fixed air conditioning;
  • internal window coverings;
  • furniture;
  • household appliances (e.g. dishwashers); and
  • valuables and personal equipment.

Buyers need to contact their insurance company when purchasing a strata property to arrange insurance which covers them for:

  • Internal fittings and fixtures/fitout;
  • Public liability/Injury; and
  • Personal property and effects.


It is a common misconception that it is not necessary to take out insurance when purchasing a vacant block of land. While building insurance on a vacant land block is not necessary, for obvious reasons, there are still other relevant risks that Buyers need to insure themselves against. Public Liability insurance is essential when it comes to protecting oneself from possible claims relating to bodily injury or property damage. For example, if someone were to have an accident and injure themselves on your property this type of insurance would protect you as the owner of the land against a damages claim. The insurance policy may also help to cover any legal fees incurred in the process of such a claim.

If you are already a homeowner there is a simple option when taking out land insurance and that is to add the land insurance to  your home insurance policy. Many insurers will extend coverage to include the vacant land as an umbrella policy. If you are not a homeowner then you can simply purchase a separate insurance policy for your vacant land from an insurer of your choice.

On a final but important note, when purchasing property in Queensland, whether it is vacant land or a lot within a community title scheme, the property will generally be at the Buyer’s risk from 5:00pm on the first Business Day after the Contract Date. Therefore, it is also very important for Buyer’s to consider the timing in which insurance is obtained.

Taking these simple steps will ensure you have peace of mind that regardless of what happens on your land or in your strata unit, you and your assets are covered.

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


Get to know Just Us….Sarah Camm



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 and AFL.


What do you like to do on your days off?

Netball and AFL.


What else do you do for fun?

Netball and AFL.

Hahaha but also I love going out to dinner with friends & family, catching up over delicious food, spending time at home with my dog, JD and beating Natalie (our commercial solicitor) at Friday afternoon board games.


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 more often than just our designated pet days.


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