Australia: Property & Real Estate - What's News - 29 June 2016

In the media – National

Councils encouraged to tackle infrastructure backlog with switch to clean energy
Australian councils should urgently consider tailored debt finance to improve their energy performance and reduce emissions from old and poorly maintained assets (16 June 2016). More...

'Revolutionary' platform to disrupt real estate industry
A new disruptive force is set to shake up the traditional real estate model by placing all the power of the property transaction in the hands of the consumer. ReValu8 is promoting itself as a "value and solution"-based organisation for consumers, providing comparative tools to easily analyse, compare and purchase property online (15 June 2016). More...

Land tax resulting in 'unfair outcomes'
In light of the ongoing housing affordability debate and recent calls to abolish stamp duty, REINSW president John Cunningham has called for a review of land tax (14 June 2016). More...

PCA: Populist foreign taxes damage housing supply
Housing supply in our major capital cities is being put at risk by counter-productive taxes on foreign investment, says the Property Council's chief of Policy and Housing, Glenn Byres (14 June 2016). More...

REIA: Changes to negative gearing not the answer to housing affordability
One of the key issues raised by Australians in response to the information campaign currently underway with the real estate industry is housing affordability, based on Labor proposing that any affordability problems can be resolved by changing current taxation arrangements negative gearing on existing properties and capital gains tax (07 June 2016). More...

In the media – Victoria

Landmark victory in Airbnb court case
A ruling handed down in the Supreme Court of Victoria concerning Airbnb has tipped the scales in favour of property owners and landlords. A landlord successfully overturned a VCAT ruling that a tenant was not in breach of their lease by offering an entire property as a short-term rental through Airbnb, according to a release from the Supreme Court of Victoria (15 June 2016). More...

In the media – New South Wales

NSW Budget: Foreign investor surcharge on stamp duty and land tax
The NSW Budget will outline a 4 per cent stamp duty surcharge on the purchase of residential real estate by foreign purchasers to commence on Budget day (21 June) and a 0.75 per cent land tax surcharge on residential real estate owned by foreign persons commencing in the 2017 land tax year (14 June 2016). More...

In the media – Queensland

Queensland Budget: Jackie Trad defends keeping planned 3.5% hike to fees and charges
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has defended the Government's decision to leave in place a planned 3.5 per cent hike to state fees and charges, arguing it was based on Treasury modelling (08 June 2016). More...

Gold Coast council to explore three cruise terminal options
The Gold Coast City Council will explore three designs for a cruise ship terminal offshore from the Southport Spit (07 June 2016). More...

EDO: GVK Hancock project faces Qld's highest court
Queensland's highest court will today hear argument about the assessment of environmental impacts in relation to GVK Hancock's proposed 30-million-tonne-per-year Alpha coal mine in the Galilee Basin. This is the first time the Queensland Court of Appeal will consider the powers of the Land Court and decision-makers under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (Qld) and the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld) in relation to climate change and the substitution argument (07 June 2016). More...

In practice and courts – Commonwealth

New Withholding Tax Regime for Australian Property
The new requirements imposed on buyers under the Tax and Superannuation Laws Amendment (2015 Measures No. 6) Act 2016 (Cth) to come into effect on 1 July 2016. While targeted at disposals by foreign residents, the Act introduces a requirement for all buyers of Australian real estate, valued at $2m or over, to retain 10% of the purchase price and pay this amount as withholding tax to the ATO. This is unless the seller produces an ATO clearance certificate or a variation notice prior to settlement. More...

Titles Registry update – witnessing documents
Further to Titles Registry Alert 125 and recent changes to part 60, paragraph 60-0390 of Land Title Practice Manual relating to witnessing instruments and documents outside Australia, additional information and resources regarding signing and witnessing requirements is now available online. More...

In practice and courts – Queensland

PCA Policy Alert
The Queensland Government has announced a new 3 per cent surcharge on stamp duty for foreign buyers ahead of next week's Budget. The Government has also flagged changes to the Great Start Grant for first home buyers, temporarily increasing the grant from $15,000 to $20,000 for twelve months. More...

Title Registry update – Fees and charges
The revised Queensland Titles Registry fees will take effect from 1 July 2016.
The new fees for the 2016-2017 financial year are prescribed in the Natural Resources and Mines Legislation (Fees) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2016 which is available on the Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website. See a summary listing the revised Titles Registry fees (click here) that will apply during the 2016-2017 financial year.

Cases – Victoria

GW & R Mould Pty Ltd v Mould & Anor; Wakefield v Mould & Anor [2016] VSC 330
REAL PROPERTY — Caveats — Application to remove caveats — Estate or interest in land — Serious question to be tried — Balance of convenience — Transfer of Land Act 1958, s 90(3).

Swan v Uecker [2016] VSC 313
LANDLORD AND TENANT — Residential tenancies — Whether tenant assigned or sublet or purported to assign or sublet without the landlord's consent by allowing "AirBnB guests" to stay in the premises — Residential Tenancies Act 1997, ss 244, 253, 263, 288, 314, 317ZF, 317ZG and 319.
LANDLORD AND TENANT – Lease or licence – Test – Right to exclusive possession – Matters relevant to test – Whether ability to make person leave after expiry of agreed period of stay is relevant – Whether principal place of residence is relevant – Whether exclusive possession granted – Lewis v Bell (1985) 1 NSWLR 731; Radaich v Smith [1959] HCA 45; (1959) 101 CLR 209; Street v Mountford [1985] UKHL 4; [1985] 1 AC 809 discussed.

Cases – Queensland

Miller & Anor v Loel & Anor [2016] QSC 135
REAL PROPERTY – TORRENS TITLE – CAVEATS AGAINST DEALING – COMPENSATION FOR LODGING CAVEAT WITHOUT REASONABLE CAUSE – where a company lodged a caveat over the land registered in the name of a joint venture party where the joint venture parties were in dispute – where litigation in respect of that dispute was determined by the court and the caveat removed – where the plaintiffs claim to have suffered loss as a result of the caveat – where the plaintiffs seek to recover that loss against the solicitor who acted for the caveator and a director of the caveator – whether it is arguable that the solicitor and/or the director is a person who lodged or continued a caveat under s 130 of the Land Title Act 1994 (Qld).
PROCEDURE – CIVIL PROCEEDINGS IN STATE AND TERRITORY COURTS – PLEADINGS – STRIKING OUT – EMBARRASSING, TENDENCY TO CAUSE PREJUDICE, SCANDALOUS, UNNECESSARY ETC OR CAUSING DELAY IN PROCEEDINGS – where the defendants apply to strike out paragraphs of the plaintiffs' claim – whether paragraphs of the claim are unnecessary or irrelevant.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.

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