Affinity Lawyers | Property Law, Conveyancing & Real Estate
Our property lawyers and conveyancing team are experts in real estate transactions, with extensive knowledge, experience and a high attention to detail to ensure that you obtain the best result possible, whether you are selling or buying.
Affinity Lawyers on the Gold Coast has an experienced and professional property law team which has assisted tens of thousands of Queensland residents and investors in buying and selling their properties, all types of leasing matters, resolving tenancy, boundary and fencing disputes and title registrations (including sub-divisions, applications in relation to lost Original Certificate of Titles, changing property holdings from joint tenants to tenants in common and many more).
We know that buying your first home, an investment property, commercial property or selling/purchasing a business can be one of the biggest financial transactions you will make in your lifetime, as well as one of the most emotional and stressful, so it makes sense to use an experienced and professional solicitor to guide you through these types of transactions.
With a strong focus on providing a premier level of customer service, our Gold Coast lawyers aim to take away the complications, stresses and hassles from your property transaction, so it can proceed as smoothly as possible from start to finish. You will be kept informed at every step along the way to settlement so you know exactly how the process works, and what your rights and obligations are throughout the transaction.
It is important to remember when dealing with property transactions, that sometimes one decision made in the wrong way can have significant and costly consequences. If the transaction falls over as a result of a misunderstanding of the contract or its terms, or because a party to the contract was not aware of their rights or obligations, it can significantly impact a person’s financial stability for many years to come and cause unneeded stress and anxiety.
If you are inexperienced or are looking at your first purchase or sale, we strongly recommend that you contact one of our friendly and experienced Gold Coast Lawyers to obtain legal advice before signing anything binding, and we can explain the terms of the contract to you in a simple, easy to understand manner so that you know what you are entering into, and you are aware of your rights and obligations under that contract from the start, minimising the chance of any last minute hiccups.
Our property law team and experienced property lawyers are also available once a contract has been signed to act on your behalf for the transaction and ensure things progress smoothly to settlement. Our conveyancing solicitors shoulder much of the burden and responsibility for a successful settlement, and our advanced I.T systems and high standard of ongoing professional development in the property field ensure that everything possible has been done to ensure your sale or purchase is finalised on time and stress-free.
Affinity Lawyers maintains ongoing educational resourcing for all of our legal staff, including lawyers and paralegals to ensure that our clients will always be receiving the latest and most comprehensive legal advice, at the highest level of service standards possible.
Our Gold Coast lawyers have experience in all areas of commercial law and domestic residential conveyancing and can explain lengthy and complex documents efficiently and in plain English.
We advise regularly on the following types of conveyancing and related transactions:-
- Commercial and retail leasing
- Conveyancing: residential sales and residential purchases
- Commercial Conveyancing: retail and commercial sales and purchases
- Advice on building contracts
- Industrial sales and purchases
What is conveyancing?
In general terms, “conveyancing” is the process of transferring ownership of a property from one person to another pursuant to the laws and procedures required to facilitate the transaction. It is crucial when entering into or dealing with a property transaction that sellers and purchasers keep in mind that they are entering into binding contracts that have stringent obligations, with strict timelines. Our legal team is able to navigate clients through this process with timely and professional advice.
Our upfront fees, plain English explanations, and attention to detail makes our firm the first choice for many Queensland residents and business owners. We are able to assist and provide advice on a whole range of property transactions from standard residential, land, unit or housing conveyancing, to Body Corporate management purchases or sales, put and call options, assignments, and the sale of large commercial properties/businesses to name a few.
Our team is also able to assist with a range of ancillary issues that surround a conveyance and property law, such as Land Tax, Stamp Duty, Insurance, Building and Pest, Council Penalty Notices and Regulations, Mortgages, Guarantees and Caveats.
Body Corporate / Strata Property
The laws relating to bodies corporate are complex and it is vital to ensure that prior to purchasing into a Body Corporate you are aware of all the issues pertaining to the scheme.
Our team’s experience in the practicalities of the day-to-day operations of a body corporate and the body corporate industry as a whole guarantees that you will be provided with the best possible advice and protected from any legal complications that may arise.
We offer general advice to bodies corporate in relation to by-laws and legislative requirements and provide advice to numerous body corporate managers. We also prepare off-the-plan unit contracts and community management statements for developer clients.
Our Body Corporate team have also been involved in some of the largest and complex Body Corporate litigation matters in Queensland, with many of these cases now the leading precedents on various Body Corporate matters.
If you’re purchasing into a body corporate, it is vital that you understand about the Schemes sinking and administrative fund as well as being aware of the contribution levies that you will have to make as an owner. Another overlooked issue, is that Body Corporate’s can issue further contribution levies at any time (e.g. if the roof is in a state of disrepair and has been overlooked and or the sinking fund is insufficient to cover the costs), so we always recommend to clients that a detailed search of the Body Corporate records is undertaken. This is a search that we can arrange on your behalf and provide advice, if requested, on whether we believe:
- that the records are accurate,
- any problems that may arise from previous motions not passed by the Body Corporate,
- pending and present litigation that the Body Corporate may be involved; and
- the likely costs that the Body Corporate may be faced over the coming years.
With a growing number of retirees selling up the family home in search of something more manageable, and investors drawn to the cheaper purchase prices, an eye must be kept on the additional expenses to maintain common areas which increases as the building gets older.
Buying or selling commercial real estate often demands a more complex legal process than is required for residential conveyancing, (but we are still able to provide fixed fees in most cases). Affinity Conveyancing Lawyers are able to carefully guide you through the steps necessary to enable a satisfactory conclusion to this process.
The first step is to ensure that the terms of the contract adequately cater for your expectations. In this respect, it is essential that you consult with one of our Property Lawyers prior to undertaking a commercial conveyance (if you have already signed a contract it is often not too late, but you will need to move quickly to protect your commercial endeavour and legal rights). Issues that you need to turn your mind to that need to be dealt with in the drafting of the contract extend beyond purchase price and settlement date. For instance our Affinity business law and commercial lawyers handle a range of legal matters, including:-
- Tax effective business structures
- Asset protection strategies
- Advice on legislative requirements, including corporate structure, governance and compliance
- Shareholder agreements and buy/sell agreements
- Franchising for new products, services and ideas
- License and commercialise intellectual property
- Protection of confidential information
- Management buy-outs
- Drafting a wide range of commercial agreements, from joint ventures and partnerships, to guarantees and security documents, to supplier terms and conditions and distribution agreements.
Sale and Purchase of a Business
The most important thing to consider is that obtaining professional advice at the first instance is the most important and valuable step you will take.
A few things other you should consider:-
- what are the terms that you wish to be included or are in the Contract or offer;
- the most appropriate entity to purchase the business for tax and asset protection;
- whether you will need to have the business premises lease assigned to you and what are the present terms of that lease;
- whether the seller or other key persons should be restrained from competing against you in the future;
- whether the assets of the business are encumbered or there is a charge over the business itself; and
- the numerous special conditions that could be included in the contract.
If as is usually the case, there is a lease attached, we will deal with the landlord and seller to ensure that the premises lease is assigned to you or even offer a put and call option to purchase the freehold. Our experienced property and franchising team is able to assist you from the beginning to the end in all aspects of your business purchase.
Are you selling your business?
Again obtaining professional advice is crucial to maxmise your prospects of a smooth sale.
Amongst other things, you should consider:-
- any special conditions you may want included in the Contract of Sale;
- any representations or warranties you have made or which may be implied in the contract;
- whether vendor finance is to be provided and what security you will take to secure the sale;
- any restraints of trade that have been proposed and what is reasonable; and
- the capital gains tax consequences of the sale.
Affinity Lawyers also have extensive expertise in the drafting, negotiation and completion of complex share sale agreements. Share sales are often conducted for tax planning reasons and often can be more complex and riskier than business sales. Our experience includes a deep understanding of the processes involved to ensure that matters settle promptly:-
- business structuring for asset protection and tax minimisation;
- purchaser enquiries and due diligence;
- preparing and negotiating business sale agreements and share sale agreements;
- put and call options and joint venture agreements;
- lease reviews and assignments;
- acting for both franchisors and franchisees in the establishment of new franchises or transfers of existing ones.