In Queensland, once a Contract of Sale has been signed by all parties, the name of the parties cannot be changed unless a strict process is followed.
There are minor alterations that may be made via the formal agreement of both Buyer and Seller (through their Solicitors). These include:
- Correcting misspelled names; and
- Adding or deleting middle names.
The changes that require preparation of further documentation include:
- Adding another person to the Contract of Sale.
If any of the parties to the Contract want to change their names it is the job of the acting Solicitor to ensure two things:
- any variations or changes made to the Contract of Sale are legally binding; and
- there are no adverse stamp duty implications for any of the parties.
Public Ruling DA 501.1.1 published by the Office of State Revenue provides that:
“For the purposes of assessment of Transfer Duty, the Commissioner will not recognise practises to vary essential elements of agreements, such as parties to the Contracts, by an exchange of letters”
Therefore the Contract of Sale is required to be changed by way of a Deed of Rescission which serves to terminate the original Contract of Sale on the condition that a new Contract is entered into by the buyer and seller noting the correct entities. There are often additional legal costs involved with such changes so it is recommended to try (as far as is possible) to make sure the entities on the Contract are correct the first time around.
We 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.