Your next property investment or development can be jeopardised without sound professional advice and due diligence. While many property transactions utilise pro forma contracts, the terms in these documents are not always appropriate for all undertakings. Contracts should be tailored to mitigate risk, set up processes to manage a range of contingencies and drafted in consideration of the entire project. We frequently represent clients embarking on complex property transactions and can assist with:
- subdivisions and developments
- site acquisitions and due diligence
- joint venture property developments
- put and call options
- preparing off the plan sales contracts
- drafting, reviewing and negotiating construction contracts
- structuring, securities and finance
A subdivision involves the partition of land into smaller parcels. Once subdivided, a title is created for each new portion of land which can be separately sold and transferred.
Land subdivision is governed by a matrix of complex legislation, regulations, planning schemes and policies. It is important to understand the overlap of the relevant laws and the processes required to achieve the proposed objectives.
Collaborating with an experienced property lawyer and other professionals to check off due diligence matters, liaise with relevant authorities, and to prepare and explain titling and legal concepts is invaluable throughout this process.
An option deed is an agreement, usually negotiated between a landowner and developer, to buy/sell a property within a specified time and on certain terms and conditions. The agreement generally provides for a prospective transaction at a future date and should therefore consider a range of contingencies that could arise between signing the deed and completion of the sale/purchase of the property.
Buying under an option agreement can enable developers to secure a price for land for future development while they arrange finance and carry out due diligence, before committing to the purchase. They are technical, complex arrangements and each party should obtain legal advice to ensure the deed contains terms appropriate for their circumstances and objectives.
Joint venture property development
Developing property with others by way of a joint venture can be an ideal way to consolidate skills and collaborate for a development. Having a bespoke written agreement is essential to set out each parties’ rights and responsibilities for the development and the objectives of the venture. To avoid a presumption that a partnership exists, the agreement must clearly state the intent of the parties to enter into a joint venture and that the joint venture is being formed for a specific purpose and limited duration.
If you are looking to develop property with other individuals or companies, talk to one of our experienced lawyers for a comprehensive joint venture agreement.
Loan and property transactions – acting for lender and borrower
Loan facility agreements secured by real property can be lengthy, complicated, and difficult to understand. If you need to borrow money to secure your purchase of a property, understanding your responsibilities and the consequences of not meeting them is essential. Conversely, if you are lending somebody money for the purchase of land, it is important that the agreement is drafted correctly and secured by a properly executed mortgage to protect your interests and funds.
We act for both borrowers and lenders on loan agreements and can provide practical, commercial advice.
Securities and company charges over land
In addition to a registered mortgage over land, a lender might secure a loan given through a charging clause and caveat. A charging clause, which is a common clause in a credit agreement, gives the lender the right to ‘charge’ the land while the debt is still owed. This is usually achieved by lodging a caveat on the title of real property. Similar to a mortgage, a caveat will prevent the transfer of the property by the person registered as the title holder. If there is already a mortgage over a property, the caveat will have a lower priority than the existing mortgage. Any charge on the property will only be to the extent of any remaining equity after the mortgage is released.
If you are in the business of lending money secured by a charge over land, it is vital that the loan agreement allows for a charge to be registered. You might also want to ensure that a clause is drafted to allow charges over future property as well. We have an intricate understanding of property and development law having assisted numerous investors, developers and lenders with various, and large-scale property projects.