Property | Mortgages

Property and mortgage related work is often technical and time critical and combined with ever-increasing time and cost pressures it is not surprising these areas are each a major source of claims. These areas usually involve a client’s most valuable asset and so the stakes are high.  Together property and mortgage claims accounted for 33 per cent of LPLC’s total claims cost in the 2015/16 insurance year.

Property and mortgage practitioners need to be aware of the risks involved in these areas of practice and put in place systems and processes to help manage them. 

LIV has prepared four conveyancing checklists to assist practitioners manage conveyancing files as well as other numerous articles and publications set out below.


27 March 2017

In Check Issue 74 | March 2017

Table of contentsWhat is new on LPLC’s website?What is happening in cyber risk?Are you ready for the DBDRV?Common GST questions – GST and adjustments for sale of commercial property2017 Risk Management seminars2017/18 Insurance renewalsLaw Institute Journal articles What is new on LPLC’s website? Cyber security page We have a new risk management page dedicated to […]

1 March 2017

When tax needs to be raised

Do you help your clients make informed choices about tax issues? Every year the Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee receives notice of claims where one of the issues was the alleged failure by a practitioner to raise tax issues with the client. Family law In one claim a practitioner acted for a husband in a matrimonial […]

1 February 2017

Misplaced trust

There are some important steps to take when handling trust money. The LPLC sees numerous claims against practitioners who are alleged to have distributed trust money to a party not entitled to receive it. For risk management purposes, two critical points in time are when a client instructs a practitioner to receive money on trust […]

7 December 2016

In Check Issue 73 | December 2016

Table of contentsCyber risk awareness for lawyers and clientsPPS – Raising awareness – how accurate is your registration?Termination of contract noticesA new GST checklistA new risk managerCommon GST questionBook now for our 2017 Risk Management SeminarsLaw Institute Journal articlesOffice closure over Christmas and New Year Cyber risk awareness for lawyers and clients We regularly hear […]

1 December 2016

Not seeing the forest for the trees

Focusing on small details only can sometimes blind practitioners to the bigger picture. Not seeing the forest for the trees refers to someone who can’t see the whole situation clearly because they are looking too closely at the small details or are too closely involved. LPLC receives claims where practitioners become too bogged down in […]

6 November 2016

1 July 2016 new CGT withholding payments – practical examples

August 2016 (revised November 2016) Table of contentsIntroductionTaxable Australian real property acquired directly from registered proprietor(s)LeasesIndirect Australian real property interestsOther issuesFurther information on the ATO website Introduction This bulletin contains practical examples of how the new withholding requirements which commenced 1 July 2016 work. 1 July new CGT withholding payments for real property sales of […]

6 July 2016

New CGT withholding payments for options, company title interests and indirect Australian real property transactions

Introduction This bulletin contains more information on the new withholding requirements which commenced on 1 July 2016. It focuses on: options and rights to acquire company title interests indirect Australian real property interests. For information about other aspects of the new regime please refer to the LPLC bulletin 1 July new CGT withholding payments for real […]

2 June 2016

1 July new CGT withholding payments for real property sales of $2M or more

Table of contentsKey pointsATO forms and information Key points New requirements for contracts of sale of real estate worth $2M or more entered into from 1 July 2016. All purchasers of such real estate must withhold 10 percent of the purchase price unless they are given a clearance certificate by the vendor. Vendors of such […]

24 September 2014

New ID law means mortgages could be void

Strict requirements for mortgagees to take positive steps to verify the identity of borrowers were introduced in Victoria on 24 September 2014. Similar requirements are already in place in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia. The Transfer of Land Amendment Act 2014 (Vic) received Royal Assent on 23 September 2014 and commenced […]

23 September 2014

Amended section 32 statement

Table of contentsKey pointsAmending legislationDue diligence checklistNew obligationsWarning!Other mattersTransitional provisionsBeware! LPLC recommendations Key points In October 2012 Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) released a discussion paper about amending section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic). In May 2013 CAV released an options paper setting out the CAV proposed amendments and suggestions by stakeholders. CAV […]

23 June 2017

Risk management and conditional contracts

The Consumer Acts Amendment Act 2017 amends s.31 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic) to clarify that a cooling off notice may be served on the real estate agent engaged by a vendor to sell the land. This is in addition to serving a notice on the vendor or an agent of the vendor. […]

19 May 2017

Destroy titles or make them invalid?

The announcement by Land Use Victoria that all land transactions will be conducted electronic by July 2019 is a timely reminder that practitioners need to implement a process to either destroy any paper titles or make them invalid in accordance with clause 6 of schedule 3 to the ARNECC Model Participation Rules. There are a […]

24 March 2017

Attention to detail is key to avoiding property claims

Already this financial year property claims, including conveyancing and leasing, account for 31 per cent of the number of claims. This is up from 26 per cent for the whole of the 2015/16 financial year. So where are property lawyers going wrong? Failing to properly advise a party about the contract of sale and section […]

17 March 2017

Revisit terms before paying trust money

When you are asked to disburse money held on trust, you need to be clear about who is asking for the money and revisit the terms of the trust before paying it. You should never make assumptions about entitlement to trust money, even when you received the money ostensibly on behalf of your client and […]

10 March 2017

On the subject of finance – Part 2

Practitioners need to be proactive where there are time pressures in contracts of sale. Last week’s blog looked at the risks of practitioners failing to properly advise purchaser clients on subject to finance clauses as well as the importance of documenting instructions and advice. This week we look at the need for practitioners to be proactive […]

19 October 2016

Key Risk Checklist: Advice on equity release products

While the following checklist is not exhaustive, it is designed to prompt you to consider the many dimensions of these transactions. The checklist may be copied for ongoing use. Advice on equity release products Client: Matter: Taking instructions Explore with the client: ☐  Did the client obtain financial advice before seeing you? If not, recommend the […]

19 October 2016

Key Risk Checklist: Amadio Checklist

While the following checklist is not exhaustive, it does draw attention to the key areas that many practitioners overlook in Amadio transactions. The checklist may be photocopied for ongoing use. Amadio Checklist Client: Matter: ☐  Allocate only one person in the office to give practitioner’s certificates. ☐  Confine the provision of a practitioner’s certificate to […]

16 August 2016

Key Risk Checklist: Purchase of land – questions for the purchaser

Purchase of land – questions for the purchaser   Responses required without delay ☐  Circle yes or no as applicable. ☐  Provide the additional information as indicated. ☐  If you do not know the answer or are unable to provide the additional information please insert the words ‘not known’. ☐  Please sign where indicated at […]

9 September 2015

Key Risk Checklist: Sale of land – questions for the vendor

Sale of land – questions for the vendor/   Instructions ☐  Please circle yes or no as applicable. ☐  Please provide the additional information as indicated e.g. a copy of your title(s). ☐  If you do not know the answer or are unable to provide the additional information please insert the words ‘Not Known’. ☐ […]

12 May 2015

Key Risk Checklist: Solicitor’s certificates for borrowers or surety providers

Solicitor’s certificates for borrowers or surety providers ☐  Allocate only one person in the office to give solicitor’s certificates. ☐  Confine the provision of a solicitor’s certificate to existing clients. ☐  Where the client receives the security documents before you, request they send you the documents well in advance of your meeting to give you […]

11 May 2017

Know your limits

Table of contentsIntroductionLessons from the claimsTime limits most commonly missedClaims examples Introduction With the proliferation of time limits in legislation today missing limitation dates is a mistake that occurs in many areas of the law. The reasons for missing time limits are varied as are the potential repercussions. Sometimes it is a lack of knowledge […]

17 October 2016

Managing mortgage risk

Table of contentsAdditional mortgage downloadsIntroductionAmadio claimsImprovident transactionsMortgage fraudNo or inadequate securityAdvice on equity release productsLPLC Checklist: Advice on equity release productsTaking instructionsThe effect of the transactionIssues of duressLPLC Amadio ChecklistAppendix OneAppendix TwoAppendix ThreeAppendix FourAppendix Five Additional mortgage downloads Solicitor’s Certificate – Direct Borrower Solicitor’s Certificate – Third Party, Guarantor etc Translator’s Certificate Client acknowledgement Introduction […]

13 September 2016

Saving superannuation claims

Table of contentsIntroductionCommon themesSuperannuation related claims from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2015Areas of lawSuperannuation ChecklistAppendix One Introduction LPLC has seen numerous claims against practitioners involving superannuation funds. Claims sometimes arise because the practitioner does not have sufficient knowledge or experience with superannuation matters. Practitioners who regularly act in this area will agree that […]

20 October 2014

Looking after leases

Table of contentsIntroductionThe best risk managementThe problem areasEmerging risk – PPS ActLPLC Tenant’s Practitioner ChecklistLPLC Landlord’s Practitioner ChecklistAppendix OneAppendix Two Introduction This 2014 edition of Looking after leases contains some recent claims, relevant cases and changes to legislation affecting retail leases. It is designed to raise your awareness of common problems in commercial and retail lease transactions, […]

23 July 2014

Claim free conveyancing

Additional conveyancing download: Default notice Table of contentsIntroductionThe causesThe most common mistakesLPLC Vendor’s Practitioner ChecklistLPLC Purchaser’s Practitioner ChecklistAppendix One: Suggested form of letter to client if requested to prepare a section 32 statement in a hurryAppendix Two: Owner builder obligations*Appendix Three: Rescission NoticeAppendix Four: Owners corporation certificate issues Introduction The 2014 edition of Claim Free […]