Property purchase is an important investment in human life. Especially if you are a newcomer. Property law in Australia is different in each state and can be complicated and difficult to understand.

If you buy residential real estate in Australia as a non-resident foreigner, the transaction must be approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). You need to apply for foreign investment approval before buying. This is regardless of how you buy property, whether personally, or through an Australian company. You still need approval even if you will buy it with a qualified person (Australian citizen or PR), whether that person is your partner, friend, or business partner. It only means that you need approval and that person does not. New Zealand citizens don’t need approval. A company is considered foreign where 15% or more of the shares are held by foreigners, even if there is at least one Australian director. You will need the best Solicitor St Kilda who will play a role to protect legal interests and secure you during purchase and sale transactions.

Temporary residents (TR) can buy property in Australia while awaiting FIRB approval. What is meant by a temporary resident here is a person holding a temporary visa, which allows them to stay in Australia for a continuous period of more than 12 months, or has applied for a permanent residence permit and holds a Bridging Visa that allows them to stay in Australia until the application has been completed.

For example, there is a foreign student who wants to live and study in Australia. The student has become a temporary resident and his parents want to buy property for him for his residence. As foreigners who are non-residents, parents need FIRB approval to buy any property.

After you have been granted permanent residency as a PR, restrictions no longer apply and there is no obligation to sell or change the property.

Purchase and Sales Contracts

Buying and selling contracts are very important documents. The aim is to determine the contractual obligations of each party.

This contract must contain important matters for all parties, and each party receives professional assistance when preparing this document.

Usually, the preparation of a contract involves the seller to prepare the contract and then submit it to the buyer for acceptance. Mostly, vendor attorneys will prepare and then present it to the buyer. If the buyer receives the contract within a certain time and without changes, and by applying his signature to the document, and the vendor places his signature on the document, then a binding contract will be formed.

For a purchase and sale contract to be carried out, several things must be ensured, such as:

  • price,
  • description of property law,
  • names and signatures of buyers and sellers (i.e. all registered owners of the property); and
  • settlement date (the date on which the purchase funds must be paid to the seller and ownership is transferred to the owner).

Sometimes, other things must also be ensured depending on the situation and condition of each transaction.

The vendor must provide a copy of Section 32 to the buyer before the buyer signs the contract, otherwise, the contract does not apply.

Payment of the purchase price usually starts with a 10% down payment provided by the buyer and the balance will usually be paid on the date of completion. This deposit is usually deposited first with the vendor’s agent or lawyer.

If the buyer borrows from a financial institution/bank or has a mortgage, the contract must have certain conditions that give the buyer time to get the loan approval.

The clauses contained in the purchase and sale contract must be handled for a certain time and deleted in writing after being fulfilled. What usually happens is that the Realtor involved in the transaction prepares an amendment to the contract, and removes the terms of the clause. After written off, the lawyer for the buyer and seller re-prepares another document to complete the transaction.

The role of your lawyer

Your lawyer is your advisor. Disputants are the only people whose role is to protect the legal interests and secure you.

The role of the lawyer is to represent you during the transfer transaction, to determine the rights or responsibilities relating to that party. A lawyer must then give you legal advice, get your instructions and do what is needed correctly to fulfill your instructions.

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