Our retainer includes all things being usual and necessary for a purchase in Queensland.
If you instruct us to exclude any of the steps that are generally considered usual and necessary we are required by law to provide you with a detailed explanation of the risks associated with these exclusions. Advice of this nature is not part of the usual conveyancing process and will be an extra cost to you.
What is excluded from our retainer?
Our retainer does not extend beyond what is usual and necessary in the conveyancing process. We consider the following to be excluded:
Financial and tax advice
We do not give advice on the commercial viability, tax and other financial implications of the purchase. If you require advice on the commercial viability or the tax implications of the purchase (including Capital Gains Tax, Goods and Services Tax and land tax) you should seek the advice of a specialist financial advisor or tax professional, such as your accountant. This includes advice on whether or not the standard contract provisions relating to GST are appropriate for your circumstances.
Advice from your tax accountant or financial advisor could be particularly relevant for circumstances which may include if you are buying the property as an investment, with or as part of a business, to substantially renovate or develop the property, you are the executor or beneficiary of an estate or you are not intending to use the property solely as your main residence.
You need to ensure that (where required) you or your accountant have registered the purchasing entity for GST and maintain that registration after settlement. Failure to do so could have significant GST, financial and other consequences.
Succession and matrimonial advice
This transaction may affect your succession planning or any arrangements with your current or former spouse (whether a marriage, de facto relationship or registered relationship). We recommend that you obtain legal advice about wills and other succession planning and any family law agreements or other spousal arrangements.
No physical inspection
We do not conduct a physical inspection of the property. It is up to you to do this. Issues about the location of the property, impacts of nearby properties or proposed developments orroad works in the vicinity of the property are not likely to be discovered by us in our searches. Therefore you must advise us as soon as possible of any concerns following your physical inspection.
Finance and loan advice
You must apply for any finance required and tell us whether your finance approval is satisfactory. A finance approval is often subject to satisfactory valuation or other conditions. If so, it is up to you to arrange for the valuation and decide whether you are able to satisfy any condition of the finance approval before notifying us that you have finance approval.
Our retainer does not extend to giving advice on the finance or security documents or any valuation you obtain.
We will need to liaise with your financier to arrange settlement. Any instructions you give us concerning your loan, the security documents or any certificates required by your financier are beyond the scope of our retainer.
Building and Pest
It is up to you to obtain any building and pest inspection reports and tell us whether they are satisfactory to you. Our retainer does not extend to giving advice on the building and pest inspection reports.
Building contracts and other related agreement
We recommend that you obtain legal advice on any building contracts or other related agreements as this is beyond the scope of our retainer with you.
Limited town planning information
Limited Town Planning is an optional property search you may request at your additional cost (this is normally more paramount when you intend to develop the property). The information received depends on the level of search you select. The work to be done as part of this retainer does not include advice about any of the following issues, unless we accept instructions to give advice (which will be at extra cost to you):
Site Issues and Planning Laws
- the development potential of the site;
- whether nearby land is subject to development applications or development approvals which could affect the value or potential development of the site;
- whether any applications over the site are current or have lapsed;
- whether the site and structures on the site have all necessary approvals;
- whether any approvals over the site have lapsed;
- whether any old or historic approvals are still current and binding on the site. For example, whether a Bushfire Management Plan affects the property;
- the laws about compensation for changes in the town planning scheme;
- deadlines to apply under superseded versions of the town planning scheme;
- other deadlines to make and pursue applications for approvals;
- whether the seller should assign certain rights to make applications to the buyer;
- any existing use rights;
- infrastructure charges which apply on development;
- whether the site is subject to call in powers by the government;
- any existing or proposed planning scheme amendments;
- the effect of the South East Queensland Regional Plan; and
- the effect of current and future government planning policies.
If you are concerned about the impact of any of these things on your use of the property then you should engage a town planner, a lawyer with town planning experience or make your own enquiries with the relevant local council.
Local laws concerning:
- the protection of vegetation;
- noise including industrial noise, road noise, rail noise, aircraft noise and future planned increases in noise levels from these and other sources;
- current and future transport routes;
- vegetation controls; and
- whether the site has been illegally cleared in the past.
Survey of Property
We do not conduct a property survey – this is your responsibility. Issues such as errors in the boundaries, or area of the land, encroachments by structures onto or from the land or (where the land is waterfront land) whether its boundaries are affected by erosion will generally not be identified unless a survey is conducted.
We may not retain documents from your purchase indefinitely. We are currently required to keep documents for seven (7) years, after which the documents will be destroyed without further notice to you.
It is your responsibility to retain copies, and originals (where appropriate), of all correspondence and documentation for your purchase. This may be required for taxation, duties or other evidentiary purposes at a later date. For example, if the property is held as an investment at any time, then your documentation may be required for Capital Gains Tax purposes.
Following completion of the property settlement we will provide you with a letter confirming same and a final settlement statement (this should be retained for your taxation records) along with the original duty stamped Contract for your safekeeping. After this we will archive your documents off site for 7 years.
Where you require / request documents from archiving, a fee of $22.00 is payable to retrieve same.
In some circumstances where goods are being supplied as part of the sale, implied consumer guarantees may apply to those goods. Where applicable they cannot be contracted out of. Our retainer does not extend to providing advice on the applicability or effect of the consumer guarantees to your purchase.
National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) lease or arrangement
We will not be providing advice on any NRAS lease related to your purchase as part of our retainer. NRAS arrangements are very complex in nature and require specialist legal advice. It is your responsibility to obtain NRAS advice and if you choose not to:
- you may not be eligible for any benefits from the NRAS scheme;
- the NRAS lease or arrangement may not be enforceable; or
- you may suffer loss.
Eligibility for grants and other schemes
We will not be providing advice on the Great Start Grant or any other government grants as part of our retainer.
To find out if you are eligible for any grants you should contact your financier (if applicable) or visit the Queensland Office of State Revenue website (http://www.osr.qld.gov.au).
It is up to you to apply for the grants if you think they apply to you and we do not give any advice or reminders in relation to the grants.
If you are purchasing the property to develop it we do not give any advice on your future buyers’ eligibility for any grants or concessions, unless that advice has been specifically requested and is included in our retainer.
Caretaking and Letting Agreements
We will not conduct a review of any caretaking and letting agreements as part of our retainer unless that advice has been specifically requested and is included in our retainer.
Please see the specific section later in this Booklet about the importance of conducting a review of any of these agreements.
If you are required to obtain a Pool Safety Certificate after settlement, we do not provide a reminder service for that date.
If a pool exists that is not on the Pool Safety Register, we do not give notice requesting that the pool be registered.
See the Pool Safety section of this Booklet for more information.
Self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) advice
If the purchasing entity is an SMSF entity, you should seek the advice of your accountant about compliance with your SMSF’s investment strategy and any other requirements. There are restrictions on how your SMSF may invest funds as well as restrictions on borrowing. The work to be done as part of this retainer does not include advice about those issues unless we accept instructions to give advice (which will be an extra cost to you).