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Tony, Michael and David Partners at ABKJ
Gold Coast Canal at Budds Beach

Newsletter – Spring 2013

Welcome to the October 2013 edition of the ABKJ newsletter.

In this issue…


New Gold Coast law places obligations on waterfront property owners

A new Gold Coast local law imposes obligations on the owners of waterfront properties, and has significant implications for both the sellers and purchasers in the event of a sale of such a property

On 11 June 2013, Gold Coast City Council enacted a new local law which created new obligations for waterfront property owners. The purpose of the law is to provide for the maintenance and repair of works and structures in or adjacent to waterway areas.

Such works and structures covered by the law include:

  • revetment walls;
  • training or retaining walls; and
  • jetties and pontoons

Failure to maintain such works and structures may result in the issuing of a notice requiring the maintenance or repair work to be undertaken. If the notice is not complied with, fines of up to $88,000 can be imposed on the property owner.

Furthermore, the local law requires the seller of a property on which such works and structures are completely or partly situated (or connected to), to ensure the contract includes a condition highlighting the obligations of the purchaser to maintain and repair the works and structures.

Failure to include such a clause in a contract of sale gives a buyer a right to terminate the contract prior to settlement.

Accordingly, in order to avoid the issuing of a notice from the local authority, waterfront property owners should maintain and keep all relevant works and structures in a safe condition, and in good working order. Furthermore, care should be taken at the time of sale of the property to ensure that the contract of sale contains the necessary condition.


Circumstances Changed? – Consider your will

Most people appreciate the importance of having a will, but not all people recognise that it is important to update your will as your circumstances change.

We recommend that you review the copy of your will every two or three years or whenever a major event occurs in your family. This ensures that the will is still appropriate for you and your family. It is also important to consider your will whenever there are significant changes with your assets or the superannuation or taxation laws.

In particular, we recommend that you consult us:

  • If you change your name or anybody named in your will changes theirs;
  • If an executor dies or becomes unwilling to act as executor or becomes unsuitable due to age, ill health or any other reason;
  • If someone who has been left something in the will dies;
  • If you have specifically left any property which you subsequently sell or give away or put in trust or into a partnership or which changes its character. This applies particularly to specifically bequeathed shares in a company which restructures its share capital;
  • If you marry, divorce, or if you have children not provided for in your will (including adopted or fostered children);
  • If you enter or end a de facto relationship; or
  • If someone who has been left something in the will becomes bankrupt (or is a potential bankrupt).

Please note however, that it is important that you do not add to or delete from your will after signing. Consult us if you want to change or revoke your will because even the simplest changes must be correctly done or the consequences may be disastrous.

If we can be of any assistance with the redrafting of an existing will, or the creation of a new will, please do not hesitate to contact our office.


Staff Announcements

Perhaps as a sign of returning confidence in the market, our conveyancing Department is experiencing a significant increase in the number of contracts being handled by the firm.

In response, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Suzanne Ryan as a conveyancing paralegal. Sue joins us from another long established Southport firm, and has extensive experience as a residential and commercial conveyancer.

Sue joins the existing team of conveyancing paralegals Amber Page and Nielan Lesko, with Vivien Foote as conveyancing manager, under the supervision of the partners of the firm.