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Buying a new home isn’t easy, especially for first home buyers. They don’t have a property to sell or an established credit history that includes paying off big mortgages. The government has introduced several programs to help these buys and make the purchase process easy. One of these programs is the First Home Super Saver Scheme. This allows buyers to make voluntary contributions to their Superannuation fund with the intention to withdraw them for new home purchase down the line. Here are some things you need to know about voluntary superannuation contributions and the benefits of this scheme:
1. When and how much?
You can start making voluntary contributions at any time as long as you have a superannuation fund. The scheme has been open since 1st of July, 2017. Investors are allowed to contribute as much as $15,000 per annum and $30,000 overall. If you’re buying property with someone like a parent, sibling or spouse, they can take advantage of this scheme as well.
2. Investment
Your funds will be invested according to previous superannuation fund instructions and FHSS return will be calculated on the basis of the deemed rate. The contributions will get healthy returns despite market conditions.
3. Withdrawal
You can withdraw the funds precisely one year from the scheme launch date. That means the funds are accessible from 1st of July 2018. The withdrawal amount is calculated based according to relevant taxes, returns, and other such factors.
4. Using the funds to purchase a home
These contributions, along with other savings, can be the deposit or down payment for your new home. You just need to submit an application to the Australian Taxation Office for a withdrawal. This money can’t be used to purchase investment property and you must live in it for at least 6 months in a year after the purchase (as long as the property is liveable).
If you want to know more or are interested in our services here at Conveyancing Shop, feel free to contact us through our form or call on 61-2 9686 3366

The Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation was introduced last year and enforced on 1st September, 2017. It introduced several changes that had a direct impact on vendor disclosure obligations, especially on matters concerning sale of land contracts and purchase of residential property options. These regulations are put in place to protect a buyer’s interests and ensure they have all relevant information regarding the property.
The vendor is required to attach a number of documents to the contract of sale. These documents include disclosures, warranties, conditions, etc. They need to disclose and describe any serious damage or defects in the property and title. The buyer must read and accept these documents before they sign the contract. Without this disclosure, vendors are liable to get into legal trouble. Most contracts include zoning or planning certificates, certificate of home warranty insurance, property certificate, official plan of land, etc. The 2017 regulations made some additions to the already established set of requirements. Here’s a small introduction to these obligations:
1. Additional sewer diagram
The vendor must attach an additional sewer diagram wherever necessary. This diagram will show the location of main sewer lines in relation to the property so future owners can carry out digs and repairs without any problems. If property owners aren’t aware of sewer line locations, they may hit and damage them during renovations.
2. Strata Bylaws
Vendors are obligated to include all strata bylaws applicable to the scheme in the contract. This ensures prospective buyers are aware of these bylaws and understand their obligations as well.
3. Warnings
Vendors are required to include a warning for the possibility presence of loose fill asbestos. If this warning isn’t included, the contract can’t be considered valid.
If you want to know more or are interested in our services here at Conveyancing Shop, feel free to contact us through our form or call on 61-2 9686 3366

Windows are a very desirable feature in any property, but they can also pose a safety risk. Unsupervised children can open a window and fall through the opening and injure themselves. As many as 50 children fall through windows every year, which led to the government taking action and introducing regulations to prevent these accidents. The body made changes to the Building Code and also introduced changes in Strata Schemes Management Act. These amendments are enforceable from 2018 and Owners Corporations can be fined for not complying with them. Here are some things you need to know about this regulation:
1. Why is it necessary?
Most windows can be easy to open and even regular locks can be bypassed. The only way to ensure a child doesn’t open the window and fall is to install secure and efficient window safety devices. These devices need to be child-proof and robust so children can’t find a way to bypass them.
2. Which windows need these locks?
This regulation applies to windows that are more than 2 feet above the ground and less than 1.7 metres above the interior floor. Windows closer to the floor are easier to reach so children will be more likely to open them. They need to have functional locks that ensure the window can’t be opened more than 12.5 centimetres. Locks that allow windows to open and close fully with a special mechanism but only open 12.5 centimetres in normal circumstances are also permitted.
3. Who should install the locks?
The Owners Corporations are required to install the locks by law, but tenants can install them with special permission from the landlord. Property owners can’t refuse permission unless they have a real and valid reason for it. The contract should include a Residential Tenancy Condition Report with a list of all windows safety devices.
If you want to know more or are interested in our services here at Conveyancing Shop, feel free to contact us through our form or call on 61-2 9686 3366

Property purchase is a big transaction and buyers invest a lot of money in it. They need to make an informed decision based on an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the property. The vendor is legally obligated to disclose all relevant information including the items included in the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation. If a vendor fails to disclose the information, they can get into legal trouble down the line.
Some of this information is disclosed in the form of Vendor Warranties in the contract of sale. In this disclosure, a seller warrants that the property doesn’t have any adverse Affectations on the date of the contract aside from the ones already mentioned in it. A vendor must attach several documents to the contract of sale and ensure all warranties are stated clearly.
The regulation includes a number of prescribed warranties and they include council upgrade order, railway or roadway proposal, education proposal, boundary encroachments or problems with titles, electricity line proposal, and an interim heritage order. All of these actions can compromise the future of the property and its value so the buyer should be made aware of them.
Changes after 2017
The Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation was updated in 2017. The update simplifies existing regulations and makes them easier to understand. It also updates terminology and includes new disclosure agreements. One of these alterations includes warranties for investigation of Strata Renewal Proposal.
From 1st of September, 2017, all contracts should include a vendor warranty that the property’s strata scheme hasn’t passed a motion for further investigations into Strata Renewal Proposal. It should also mention no strata renewal committee is established to give effect to the motion and no minutes of the meeting recording this resolution have been prepared. It’s important to keep these changes in mind when examining the contract of sale.
If you want to know more or are interested in our services here at Conveyancing Shop, feel free to contact us through our form or call on 61-2 9686 3366

Foreign property ownership has had an impact on the real estate market, driving up the prices and limiting supply. In response to this, the Australian Government has introduced stronger regulations to control foreign investors owning Australian property. These rules will help make accessing housing easier for Australian citizens. The new regulations introduced in 2017 limit foreign investments in new developments and reduce capital gains tax avoidance.
Regulations for Unoccupied Residential Property
Many foreign investors purchase residential property and keep it vacant for months, if not years on end. These properties are just investment pieces and keeping them vacant can increase the average rent costs. With new regulations, the government hopes to push foreign investors into the rental market. This will make more homes available to Australian renters and bring the rental costs down. The recent Federal budget stipulates that:
• The government has placed a 50% cap of new development property ownership. New Dwellings Exemption Certificate won’t be granted for sales above that cap.
• Foreign owners will have to pay an annual fee of minimum $5,500 on properties kept vacant for more than six months on any given year. The fee is equivalent to the amount the investor paid during foreign investment application.
• The regulation will encourage foreign investors to place their property on the rental market instead of keeping it empty, which can be a win-win situation. Investors gain secondary income and Australians have a larger pool of rental homes to choose from.
• The fee will be administered and monitored by the Australian Taxation Office. They will make sure no property remains vacant for more than six months without paying the fee.
These measures will also generate around $40 million in revenue for the government. That can be reinvested in projects to help Australian citizens.
If you want to know more or are interested in our services here at Conveyancing Shop, feel free to contact us through our form or call on 61-2 9686 3366