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Property Law Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about Property Law

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Is my property held as a joint tenant or as tenants in common?

If you own property with another person, chances are you hold it either as joint tenants, or tenants in common. How the property is held affects many legal rights and responsibilities and is listed on the certificate of title.

What is a cooling off period?

A cooling off period is a period of time under which a buyer or seller is able to terminate a contract without penalty, or without additional penalties.

The terms of a cooling off period vary from contract to contract. For example a cooling off period for the purchase of a used car from a licensed motor dealer is different from the cooling off period in a conveyance.

Can I modify the standard REIQ contract?

The standard REIQ contract has an area that allows a solicitor to add additional terms to the contract.

How does finance in the purchase of a residential property work?

Finance conditions may vary, but in many cases a contract is subject to the buyer obtaining finance that is suitable to them.

What is a caveat?

A caveat is a warning to others. Caveats are often lodged by persons with an unrecognised interest over land that wish to have that interest ‘perfected’. Persons lodging caveats have to apply to many strict rules and time periods or they face potential financial penalties.

I have a problem with my neighbour’s fence, how should I solve it?

Talk to your neighbour! Many people consider legal action prior to even discussing the issue. If the issue is unresolved you should consult a lawyer.

What is the PPSA?

The Personal Property Securities Act formed the Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR). This is a register that holds details of security interests over personal property.

I want to take out a patent, what next?

A patent is a highly technical document that can provide significant protection over a person’s invention. Patents are not granted automatically and must be applied for. The application process can be long, difficult and technical, as such a lawyer is generally recommended, preferably one that specialises in patents or has dealt in patents before.

Do I need to register for copyright?

Copyright is free and automatic. The moment that an idea or creative concept is documented it is protected. However copyright only protects the expression of the idea, and not the individual idea itself.

Enforcement of copyright can be expensive, and will often require a lawyer.


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