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PPSR and property sales

Do property lawyers ‘get’ Personal Property Security Register (PPSR)? Recently, trying to settle the sale of a large development site, we came across lawyers demanding PPSR releases (in addition to the usual releases). The settlement was rescued when we found another lawyer who understood. Under the old law, lawyers needed to get Form 312s on settlement. Under PPSR, if you are selling land and fixtures only, it doesn’t apply. What is a ‘fixture’ can be tricky, and we are paid to be cautious, but if lawyers keep demanding items at settlement that are “standard”, but completely unnecessary, then we just waste our clients’ money. – Jodie Masson, Partner

April 1, 2016

Foreign resident capital gains

The application forms for the foreign resident withholding tax are now finally out to the extent that these are relevant for assets you intend to sell after 1 July 2016 or if you simply want to be ‘sale ready’). We presume that most of our clients will look after this internally, but please let us know if we can assist in any way. – Jodie Masson, Partner

May 14, 2016

Registration fees increasing

For those registering documents at Land and Property Information (LPI) in NSW, be aware that there are fee increases (and some decreases) on and from 1 July 2016. Some of the changes aren’t significant (eg lease registration will increase from $109.50 to $136.30) and there are probably bigger issues to deal with in most transactions, but it might be worth thinking about timing of registration, particularly if you are registering a lot of documents. It all adds up, right? Requisition fees will also be charged from 1 January 2017, making registration of non-compliant documents much more costly. – Jodie Masson, Partner.

May 2, 2016

Diversity in law firms

This article is interesting but, having interviewed graduates over many years for large law firms, this is not where the problem lies. The graduate intakes that I saw comprised smart, talented young people from different cultural backgrounds, genders (in fact, firms had to work hard to get male candidates given the large number of female graduates), sexual orientation, universities, schools etc. But they don’t stay. More initiatives are necessary (not just token ‘committees’) which support diversity in senior levels, because that’s where the real problem is. – Jodie Masson, Partner.

April 1, 2016

Fire at Whitsunday Shopping Centre

Heard the news on Monday about a major fire at the Whitsunday Shopping Centre at Cannonvale, near Airlie Beach. It’s tragic for all those who work and shop there and it is a good reminder for landlords and tenants to not gloss over damage and destruction clauses when negotiating leases – these types of events do happen and it’s important to have an agreed process in place to avoid a dispute at a time when you can least afford it!. – Jodie Masson, Partner.

April 6, 2016

Gaming Machines Act

Are you an operator of a gaming machine? Amendments to the Gaming Machines Act 2001 commenced in March which provide some guidance as to the future of the Centralised Monitoring System (CMS) once the current licence expires in November. The CMS monitors gaming machines and one of its functions is to calculate the gaming machine tax. Given that the new CMS licence will be granted via a tender process, it will be interesting to see if any cost cutting measures will actually be passed onto operators. – Ole Mitrevski, Senior Associate.

May 2, 2016

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