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kmslaw
kmslaw, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 209
Experience:  I have 15 years legal experience behind me and I graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in Arts/Law.
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A relative is mine is wanting to buy a property however her

Customer Question

A relative is mine is wanting to buy a property however her husband is from overseas and is not an Australia citizen. What potential issues would they run into if they did the conveyance themselves? And if there are what are the costs to remedy that? What government approvals would they need before getting all their ducks in a row in order to be able to enter into a purchase contract? FYI they have limited incomes and only one person works.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is ***** ***** I am a NSW solicitor who will help with your inquiry today. There are a myriad of problems with doing one's own conveyance. The first is that if you don't know how to interpret the listings on the title of the property you may not understand whether there are interests in the property that need to be cleared before the settlement of the sale to give you clear title to the property. The second is that without reading the right materials you may not know whether you are buying contaminated land. The third is that you may not be able to use the property for any particular purpose you have in mind either at all or without council approval. The list goes on and on. The real benefit of going to a professional to get it done is that they are usually backed up with professional indemnity insurance so that if the transaction is stuffed up in some way you can sue the person for any losses suffered. I'm not aware of any requirements that a foreigner has to overcome to own land in Australia. I will check on it now though to make sure and come back to you.

Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

Back again. The Foreign Investment Review Board usually requires approval for investment in Australian land but they can avoid this if they purchase the land as joint tenants and not as tenants in common. You can verify this here. Has that helped you today?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

so you are saying that even though the husband is not an Australian citizen but living here with her - there would be no barriers to purchasing a house? i just want to make sure this is the case before they proceed with the purchase as it would be a waste to finally find out that sorry they can't.

they are a relatively young couple with limited money so this is the first big purchase for them. they can't really afford someone with exorbitant prices. we have a family friend who is a solicitor - they can help them informally correct? that won't be a big issue will it?

Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. Yes I am saying that but they MUST put the property into their names as joint tenants and not as tenants in common.

Conveyancers are often half the price of a solicitor so you could try that option.

A solicitor who is a friend can help, certainly but be careful because if the purchase goes wrong and you want to sue them then you lose a friend as well as a solicitor.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

How much conveyancers usually charge?

Also they will taking out a loan. Again give the male partner is not an Australia citizen, will this effect their chances and make it void? Should the female purchaser try to do it herself?

I think they are putting their name as joint tenants but maybe give they are still in their mid-20s it might be more beneficial to wait awhile.

What advantages does a joint tenancy give them? What if they were to break up?

Give his immigration status is an issue, how can he resolve this? By staying the required time and making an application for permanent residency? What documents would he need to support this given there are marriage papers?

Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

Hello. This is a bit longer than the original question so I will offer you an additional service to answer these questions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You really didn't my question to be honest.

Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

I answered your question in relation to potential issues they could face. I also told you they don't require government approval if they buy as joint tenants. The only thing I didn't answer was how much it would cost them if they stuff up their own conveyance. The answer to that is that they could lose all their deposit and be sued for more if there are grounds.

Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

On top of that they may lose in terms of not securing full title to the property.

Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

Has that helped you?

Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

Sorry I just realised you wanted to know what costs would be to remedy that. It's impossible to say what legal costs would be to remedy a stuff up when you don't know the nature of the stuff up if you know what I mean. For example if the property purchase settles late then they may suffer $1000 in interest so legal fees to rectify that will probably be at an hourly lawyers rate if it is their fault. If the stuff up is that money was handed over without obtaining all the correct documents to secure title then the stuff up will require many many lawyers hours going to court. Has that helped?

Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

In my example with the hypothetical $1000 interest when I say hourly lawyer's rate it will probably be for a few days work if the settlement can be reorganised quickly. Just as an example.

Expert:  kmslaw replied 1 year ago.

Hello did my answers help you? Do you want more Q&A time?