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Landcom reports on feasibility of Build-to-Rent projects - Jul 2019

A recent report by Landcom Build-to-Rent in Australia: Product feasibility and potential affordable housing contribution(July 2019) looks at the feasibility of build-to-rent (BtR) developments in light of current market conditions and policy settings.  Recent changes to tax treatment of income from Managed Investment Trusts (MIT) is likely to have a significant impact for foreign investors. 

Partner, Margot King and Senior Associate, Samantha Gou review the highlights of that report and the MIT changes.

The 2018 Security of Payment Amendments arise from the Dead! - May 2019

After falling victim to the NSW election caretaker period, the 2018 Security of Payment amendments have risen from the dead, with the corporate veil to be drawn back faster than previously telegraphed. 

Can a principal elect to claim general damages rather than liquidated damages? - May 2019

Agreements on liquidated damages for delay provide certainty for principals and contractors alike. But what happens if your actual loss arising out of a delay far exceeds the rate of your liquidated damages?

Tim Coleman, Partner, and Emer Sheridan, law graduate, consider whether a principal can elect to claim general damages despite the existence of a valid liquidated damages clause.

Landlords and tenants getting hot under the collar over air conditioning - May 2019

Tenants of commercial premises in Australia rely heavily upon the use of air conditioners to ensure their comfort, health and safety whilst at  work. In a previous decision, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found that a landlord’s failure to repair an air conditioning unit amounted to a repudiation of a lease by the landlord thus allowing the tenant to terminate the lease.  This decision has now been reversed by the Supreme Court of Victoria.  

Judd Last, Partner considers the decision of Pepper Property Group Pty Ltd v S 3 Sth Melb Pty Ltd [2019] VSC 41.

"Near enough notice is not good enough notice” – requirements for strict compliance with contractual notice provisions only get stricter. - May 2019

We recently considered the decision in Santos Limited v BNP Paribas [2019] QCA 11, that a failure to include the words of a particular form rendered a call on a bank guarantee invalid. At the time, we suggested that “parties would be wise to consider the risk that such a principle may be extended to documents to which they are a party”.  In JPA Finance Pty Ltd v Gordon Nominees Pty Ltd, the Supreme Court of Victoria has now held in a similar way, relating to notice provisions in a Call Option Deed.

Ted Williams, Partner and Gemma Twemlow, Senior Associate consider the decision.  

Counter-offers are not enough. Why you need a building contract - May 2019

Although it is common practice for parties to commence construction works whilst the contract terms are still being negotiated, this presents significant risks, for both contractors and subcontractors.  The recent decision of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Boss Constructions (NSW) Pty Ltd v Rohrig (NSW) Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 374 reinforces the importance of having a binding contract in place prior to commencing any works. 

Gemma Twemlow, Senior Associate and Denise Burloff, Lawyer discuss the case and its implications. 

Major Reforms for Natural Resources Proposed Under the New 'Landscape South Australia Bill 2019' - Mar 2019

Landscape South Australia Bill 2019 to repeal the Natural Resources Management Act 2004.

The Bill aims for greater community involvement in natural resource management and the recognition of climate change impacts on the environment.

Kathryn Walker, Partner, and Kerri Hooper, Law Graduate, discuss the key points of the Landscape South Australia Bill 2019.

New protections when buying residential property off the plan - Mar 2019

The Conveyancing Legislation Amendment Act 2018 (NSW) (Amending Act) is set to better regulate sales of off the plan residential property in New South Wales. In particular, the Amending Act will:

  • improve the level of disclosure that vendors must make to purchasers; and
  • make it easier for purchasers to rescind contracts for sale. 

Partner, Timothy Coleman, and Lawyer, Brianna Smith consider what these changes will mean for both vendors and purchasers.

$55M demand scuppered in battle of form over substance. (Very) strict compliance is required when it comes to calls on performance security. - Feb 2019

In the recent decision of Santos Limited v BNP Paribas [2019] QCA 11, the Queensland Court of Appeal upheld a decision that a failure to include the words “authorised signatory of Santos Limited” meant that a demand made upon a bank guarantee was invalid.  Given the principle of ‘’strict compliance’’, the employee’s signature and position description did not amount to a representation that he was an authorised representative of Santos Limited.  Ted Williams, Partner and Gemma Twemlow, Senior Associate, discuss what the decision means for parties when notices under contracts.    

Groundhog Day: When will the court remit an adjudication application? - Feb 2019

So, you have successfully argued that an adjudicator acting under Security of Payment legislation failed to undertake the task required and, therefore, their determination has been quashed. But now what? Is the adjudication determination at an end or will it be remitted back to the adjudicator so they can correct errors in it and issue a determination?

Partner, Tim Coleman and Law Graduate, Emer Sheridan, discuss the circumstances in which a quashed adjudication determination will, or will not, be handed back to an adjudicator.

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