Residential Conveyancing and Residential Property Matters
Sales and Purchases
The WMD Property Group is proud of the service we have provided to residential conveyancing clients in New South Wales and across Australia since 1969. We understand that the sale or purchase of a home or investment property is an important transaction in your life and one that is often full of emotion.
The WMD Property Group can advise you on all aspects of residential conveyancing and home lending issues from the time property is located or the decision to sell is made our lawyers can assist in the drafting and negotiation of the contract, the exchange of the contract, the home loan process and all every process in between until the day the matter is settled.
Easements, Covenants and Rights of Way
An easement grants a right to a specific person or authority to use a section of land, which is owned by someone else, for a certain purpose. When an easement is granted it prevents the owner of the effected property from dealing with that area of their property as they wish. The owners or future owners are generally not allowed to build over, under or on top of the easement site which in some cases may alter the value of the property.
A common easement is an easement for a right of way, where neighbours on a battle-axe block use a common driveway or the owner at the back of the block is granted the right to use the land owned by the owner at the front of the block for access to their property. In most cases the easement will have been in existence for decades but it is important to be aware of the rights and obligations of each party to the easement.
A positive covenant requires a land owner to perform a certain function on or to their land and a negative covenant restricts a land owner from performing a certain function to or on their land.
In most cases easements and covenants remain on the title of a property long after they are first registered. It important for every land owner, and in particular prospective land owners, to know whether any easements or covenants exist on their property and the rights and obligations granted by the easement or covenant.
In New South Wales the Dividing Fences Act 1991 sets out the obligations of neighbours with respect to the building of a common or dividing fence. The basic principle of the Act is that the cost of building the fence should be shared equally between the neighbours. The Act also sets out the procedure for resolving disputes about the cost, type and position of a fence.
A land owner wanting a neighbour with adjoining land to share in the cost of a common fence must serve a Fencing Notice on that adjoining owner before commencing any work. The WMD Property Group is able to assist with the preparation or review of a Fencing Notice and also with further action should you fail to reach an agreement with your neighbour regarding a fencing dispute.
Fencing and Trees
If your neighbour’s tree has branches overhanging onto your property you should attempt to discuss the matter with your neighbour for a mutually agreeable solution. You may legally trim any overhanging branches back to the boundary of their land, however, as you could be held liable for any damage caused to your neighbour’s property while trimming or cutting the tree, it is a good idea to have any extensive work carried out by a professional. There is no legal obligation on your neighbour to contribute to the cost of any pruning.
Again, it is advisable that you notify your neighbour of your intentions before taking any actions. Before cutting any branches, you should also check with your local council to see if the tree is protected by a tree preservation order, as there are heavy fines for breaching such orders. The WMD Property Group can provide advice in relation to disputes with neighbour regarding the pruning of trees or damage to property caused by a tree.
The most common strata disputes involve strata by-laws, the common property and meeting procedures. Before an action can be taken the relevant authorities require that an attempt be made to resolve any dispute by speaking to the other party about the problem. Owners in the strata scheme can request that a meeting be called with the owners corporation in order to discuss the issue.
If the problem or dispute is unable to be resolved through discussions with the other party and/or the owners corporation, the Department of Fair Trading provides for a dispute resolution process involving mediation, adjudication and, where necessary, a tribunal hearing. The WMD Property Group can assist with your dispute and advise you on the best action available to resolve the matter quickly and effectively.