Buying or selling your home, investment property or land might be one of the biggest financial transactions you make.
Robertson Hyetts Solicitors have an experienced team of Bendigo, Castlemaine conveyancers and property lawyers, making the transfer of a property a smooth process, giving you peace of mind. Whether buying or selling a property we make every dollar count, ensuring your property transfer is legally compliant.
Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring ownership of a legal title of land (property) from one person or entity to another.
When do I need conveyancing services?
When you are buying or selling a piece of real estate, subdividing, updating a title, registering changing or moving an easement, adverse possession and general law conversion.
Buying a property or selling a property
Contract of sale
If you are buying or selling a property you will need to have a contract of sale drawn up by your chosen conveyancer or property lawyer. They will need to be qualified to conduct property transactions, and both parties, buyer and seller will need to have a property solicitor or conveyancer to check over the contract of sale so the exchange is within the legal standards.
Your contract of sale will have a list of items covered including you and your agent’s contact details, address of the property, selling price and the name of buyer and their contract agent. You would also list the fixtures and fittings that come with the property, any exclusions, details of easements, date of settlement, deposit, payment and loan conditions and a cooling off period.
Property transactions can be daunting, especially the first time. Selling is a little more complex than buying a property but we still make it simple for you. When selling a property, your conveyancer at Robertson Hyetts Solicitors takes care of the process. Providing expert legal guidance through each one of the steps that make up the property transfer process; from preparing your Contract of Sale, to conducting planning and title searches and discussing any special conditions with you.
Subdivision of a block of land needs to go through an approval process before you begin to subdivide. Each council has its own set of rules so its important to familiarise yourself with them before you go ahead and buy a property for subdivision. Each council will have a minimum lot size and some zoning types will not allow for subdivision.
Before you make an application, your first step is to engage a licensed surveyor to develop a plan of subdivision. In Victoria you need to apply for a planning permit for development with subdivision via SPEAR. On the SPEAR site you can get information on residential subdivisions, building envelopes, bush fire management overlays and planning practice notes. All of these things need to be considered before you go ahead with subdividing.
Our Bendigo conveyancers can help you an estimate of the costs of subdividing your land. We can assist you to determine the considerations of subdividing your land such as zoning, property boundaries, drainage, easements and covenants or restrictions that may apply. We draft all the documentation you need to present to a surveyor and lodge your plans with the right authorities.
Updating a Certificate of Title
You may need to update or change the title of your real estate if you have sold it, if the owner or mortgagee dies or if you have changed your name and or address or if you have paid the mortgage off in completion.
Whether you live in Bendigo, Castlemaine, Kyneton and surrounds, Robertson Hyetts will manage the change and lodgement of your Certificate of Title so you won’t have to worry about a thing.
In Australian law it is possible to become an owner of a property if you have had a 12 or more years of uninterrupted possession of a private premises or 30 years for crown land. Adverse possession laws are only applied in the states and does not apply in the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory.
To adversely possess a premises the occupant must be able to prove obvious signs of long term uninterrupted occupancy without objection of the property owner. Changing locks and making improvements to the property all counts as proof of occupancy. You must also occupy the property without the permission of the owner.
Encroaching on neighbouring land by shifting fence lines without objection from the neighbours in the time frame is another form of adverse possession.
To claim adverse possession you need to place an application to the Department of Lands and file:
- your complete application
- evidence of occupancy for the statutory period
- professional survey maps and photographs
- statutory declarations witnesses who swear to the facts of your occupation
- a local council letter
- probate and land registry searches
Given that it is a complicated process and many legal hoops to jump through to make your adverse possession a success, you will need a property lawyer or conveyancer. Robertson Hyetts know property law like the back of a hand, we will professionally handle all of your legal requirements for a complete application process.
General law conversion
This kind of title is from land sold by the Crown in the state of Victoria the Torrens system in 1862 which the land titles system we use today. General law titles depend on evidence of ownership via deeds going back to the first issue by the Crown. Having the deeds and other document that prove current ownership are valid enough evidence of ownership.
Since 1999 conversion from General Law to a Torrens title is compulsory. Our Bendigo property lawyers can assist you with your general law conversion on your property so you have a title with a State Government guarantee of registered interests.
Registering, changing or removing an easement
You may need to register an easement if you meed access through a neighbours property to access your land, you might need to run a gas line to your property or put in a storm water easement.
One way to remove an easement, especially if it is old and irrelevant to the current day usage of the land, is to file a quiet the title application. It would take legal action to quiet the title and supposing there was no objections from neighbours or authorities, easement can be removed. An example would be an old irrigation easement running through your property that is irrelevant to the area as it is old and the land has been changed from farming land and developed for residential purposes.
An easement can expire, especially if the company or relevant authority no longer accesses the facility on your land. If the easement has expired or been abandoned you can legally claim the land. In the situation where an easement through the neighbour’s land ( dominant property), such as driveway was the only access to another property (servient property), this easement can be terminated if the dominant neighbour buys the servient property and absorbs the land into one property.
If you need to register, change or remove an easement, Robertson Hyetts Solicitors have expert property lawyers who can look after all the complicated filing of paper work, advise you on your rights and responsibilities and take care of your interests.
Verification of Identity
In order to minimise the incidence of fraud, we are required to verify your identity during property transactions. Verifying your identity is required for both vendors and purchasers.
Making conveyancing simple
Our conveyancing staff will provide a clear explanation of all aspects of property transfer and if there are other documents or activities that need to be completed, we can do these too. We aim to make the property transfer process simple for you.
“We were so pleased to have had the opportunity for Robertson Hyetts to manage our recent house sale and purchase because of their in-depth knowledge, attention to detail and approachable personalities meant we always felt a part of the process. All staff have a great way of reinterpreting the ‘boring bits’, so we were able to easily understand what was going on at all times for this significant time in our life.”
– Claudette & Cameron