Strata tip #72: Site Acquisition – Authorities, approvals and consents

You have to acquire these too, including any associated intellectual property rights.  Sometimes the value of the land is an existing approval or consent (for example a development approval, water allocation or statutory licence).  It is surprising how many times these authorities, approvals or consents are not acquired, when they should be, as part of […]

Strata tip #71: Site investigation – Engage your lawyer early

Interview a couple of development lawyers and don’t make the mistake of thinking that the cheapest will be the best.  As in all things, you will get what you pay for.  A creative lawyer who is interested in your development can add value in a myriad of ways.  You’ll know that you’ve made the right […]

Strata tip #70: Post Settlement Issues – Get the body corporate paperwork right

When you conducted the first extraordinary general meeting of the body corporate, you would have knocked over the usual agenda items such as insurance, initial contributions (levies), the appointment of the body corporate manager and so on.  In most cases you will have also dealt with the requirements of any contract special conditions, where body […]

Strata Tip #69: Settlement – Settlement is like making sausages

You should stay away from settlement; avoid watching the process and simply enjoy the outcome! Whether it’s settlements being rescheduled, buyers losing their transfer documents, settlement agents getting held up in traffic or any number of other normal events, some settlements will be delayed, others will fall through and none of that should be witnessed […]

Strata tip #68: Construction – Finishes packages

Henry Ford once said that ‘you can have the car in any colour you like as long as it’s black’.  Providing options for finishes will make your buyers happier than Ford’s, but it can lead to ordering and supply issues for your construction contractor.  If you are going to offer different finishes packages make sure […]

Strata tip 67: Sales – Buyers will ask for Special Conditions

Whether it’s a change to your standard conditions, a due diligence clause or making their purchase subject to their sale, you can expect a number of requests for special conditions from buyers.  A good lawyer will prepare a set of ‘standard’ special conditions ready for use during the sales process.  That way they’re on hand, […]

Strata tip 66: Marketing – The role of the agent

A good marketing agent is not only a salesperson, they’re an advocate, marketer and public relations officer.  These days, they also need a little dash of lawyer!  Brief them properly, give them firm instructions (e.g. about what they can and cannot say) and then give them some space to do what they do best.  

Strata Tip 65: Development financing – Pre-sales coverage

Most construction finance facilities contain conditions regarding pre-sales.  That is, the number of “off the plan” sales contracts that need to be achieved before the first, or another, drawdown can be made.  The banks are fairly sophisticated about this and will only count ‘arms length’, third party pre-sales.  To avoid embarrassment and delay, make sure […]