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The role of residential conveyancing solicitors

residential conveyancer campbelltown

If you have ever bought a property in south-western Sydney you will be very familiar with residential conveyancer solicitors in Campbelltown, but for those who haven’t these practitioners and the process they help us with may be completely unknown.

Conveyancing is the transfer of property from one owner to another under the eyes of the law. This process usually has two stages, the transfer of contracts, followed by completion, as the legal titles are passed over. It can be an extremely complicated process and one that should be overseen by residential conveyancing solicitors.

The sale of land and property is governed by the lawmakers of the state in which the property is. Any transfer of said land or property must be completed legally following the procedures in place. Contracts must be prepared to show transfer of deeds in writing. Generally, both parties will be present as they sign two copies of the contracts, one for each. When these contracts are passed from one party to another, the deal is said to be complete. It is usually agreed that sending and signing contracts electronically is generally insufficient and an agreement done in this way may not be binding. While completing the process, residential conveyancing solicitors will be with you every step of the way to assist.

In Australia, the process is made even more complicated by the existence of separate states with different rules. Privately owned land is governed under the Torrens System while a set of laws derived from English common law governs property law.  The transfer process can be carried out without outside help but it is strongly recommended by lawmakers to use residential conveyancing solicitors.

When you decide to buy a house, money will be the main issue. Your sole aim will be to afford the deposit. You’ll be thinking of nothing else, just saving for the deposit so the house will be yours. You can worry about the repayments in a few months. It’s very possible that you will not have factored in the cost of hiring a lawyer to complete the paperwork. The cost will be a small fraction of what the house is worth so if you really want to secure the property, it will be best to hire residential conveyancing solicitors, who can walk you through everything, step by step, before it happens.

If you have made the big decision to buy a house, thinking it’s everything you wanted, and you have signed the contracts but you get cold feet, don’t worry, a cooling off period does exists. This period can be as short as 2 days in South Australia and up to 5 days in New South Wales. This period allows the purchaser to reconsider the purchase and to cancel the contracts if they so wish, unless it was made at an auction. If the option is taken to cancel the purchase, you may still need to pay a small fraction of the total amount to make up for backing out. If you have any doubt about the purchase and the laws surrounding your purchase residential conveyancing solicitors will know the exact laws surrounding the transaction.

Residential conveyancing solicitors are experts in their field, they will assist with checking for restrictions on the property, arranging payments are made, preparation of legal documents and generally making sure everything runs smoothly. You may have second guessed the decision to hire them having seen the costs they’ve run up but in the end,  it will be all worth it. You’ll be sitting in your house with your family, knowing that it would not have been possible without their hard work and dedication.

How family lawyers in Sydney can help you and your loved ones

family lawyers in Sydney

While life can be filled to the brim with joy and good times, there is always a ying to the yang. This means that people can experience dark times in their lives in addition to the great times. Some examples of stressful times can be when someone loses their job, the death of a loved one or a pet, losing a home, or the ending of a relationship.

When couples do decide to end a marriage, this usually occurs after a long time of trying to make things work. By this stage, the two people involved are usually exhausted and will need to lean on their family members and friends for support. There are many great ways that people can help their loved ones when they are going through a time such as this.

They are able to take them out for a cup of coffee every now again, they can offer their home as a place to stay, or they can even help them search through family lawyers in Sydney so that they can find the perfect representative for them. While helping in the search for family lawyers in Sydney may seem like something small, it is actually one of the most important parts of ending a marriage and is often an area where people will need help.

Find ways to make the search fun

One of the best things someone can do for a loved one is to make the search for family lawyers in Sydney a fun occasion. This could be done by getting together with a loved one with popcorn and other munchies and spending an afternoon searching online. Similarly, when someone does find an attorney that they are happy with a celebration of sorts could be held.

It is not uncommon in this day and age for people to celebrate their divorces by having a party or the two people involved will get matching tattoos to signify the time that they spent together. However someone wishes to approach the ending of a marriage and no matter how happy they may be, it is likely that the person is still filled with dread and fear of the unknown. No matter how on good terms the two people involved may be, the process can still be tedious and stressful and so sometimes the best thing people can do is a) offer their support and b) ensure that they make the situation as light as possible.

Family lawyers in Sydney can help elicit confidence

Another great thing about helping a loved one search for family lawyers in Sydney is that professionals are able to elicit feelings of confidence. People are often unsure of what they are entitled to and don’t want to appear pushy or ask for too much. Conversely, someone may feel that they are been pressured into doing things that they don’t want to do and will want to know that their rights are.

In the cases where people will need to attend court, the people involved can become very anxious as they are not sure of what to expect. This is why seeking the support of family lawyers in Sydney is so helpful because they are able to a) answer any questions that may be had and b) can educate their client on how things are likely to occur. This can help people feel less stressed and more confident and can help them feel like they are returning to normal life a lot sooner.

Because of these reasons as well as many others, sometimes the best way to help a loved one going through a divorce or separation is by helping them search for family lawyers in Sydney.

Traits of the best criminal lawyers in Sydney

criminal lawyers

Facing legal scrutiny can be an overwhelming experience for most people, especially if they have never faced criminal charges before. Being suspected as a criminal is a difficult situation for anyone to be in and it’s no wonder that these people seek the help of the best criminal lawyers in Sydney.

There’s a lot at stake when facing criminal charges such as your freedom, your public record and your ability to travel overseas or find employment. With so much on the line it’s easy to see why people stuck in this situation would seek the best criminal lawyers in Sydney that they can get.

Let’s take a look at the top traits of the best criminal lawyers in Sydney.

Experienced

The best criminal lawyers in Sydney will have decades of courtroom experience behind them and will have defended hundreds of clients like you before. While no two cases are identical, a good criminal solicitor will be able to draw on their past experience of handling similar cases and use it in your case.

This experience can be seen in the level of familiarity the solicitor has with the courtroom setting and the correct procedures that take place during a criminal hearing. Your solicitor should be able to use their knowledge to guide you through the process and make predictions about what will likely happen next.

Organised and punctual

When being charged by the police it’s absolutely essential that your solicitor is punctual and well-organised in order to represent you in court. The last thing you need is a solicitor who is disorganised and is late to the courtroom.

The best criminal lawyers in Sydney are always on-time and are always well-researched and prepared to handle your case. The idea is that your solicitor makes you feel more confident, not less.

When you hire criminal lawyers in Sydney you expect to get a professional who will handle your case seriously. Anything less than a punctual and organised expert will mean bad news for your case and will lessen the chances of you getting a favourable outcome.

Clear communicator

The best criminal lawyers in Sydney should be able to break down your cases bit by bit and explain it to you in layman’s terms. The whole point of a solicitor is that they can understand and interpret the law for the average person so that they understand their legal situation as much as possible.

When you have a meeting with your solicitor you should be leaving feeling less confused than when you walked in. If the solicitor is failing to explain the basic concepts of your case to you then it may be a sign you made the wrong choice.

Excellent rhetorician

The best criminal lawyers in Sydney are all excellent rhetoricians that can act as powerful advocates on behalf of their clients. They should be great English speakers who can present evidence and cross-examine witnesses with a distinctive rhetorical style.

This skill is essential for criminal lawyers in Sydney as it is what allows them to make persuasive legal arguments to the court. The better a rhetorician the solicitor is the more likely they will be able to persuade a judge to agree with their legal interpretation of the facts.

While no amount of fancy talk will substitute for hard evidence, the rhetorical skill of your solicitor is crucial nonetheless. It is what allows them to argue for and against said evidence and to interpret it in a way that supports the outcome you are seeking.

It’s clear that these traits are what set the best criminal lawyers in Sydney apart from the rest. Those seeking legal counsel for criminal matters should definitely make sure their solicitor has these traits.

Gambling in Australia: What’s Legal and What’s Not

gambling in Australia

It’s said that everyone has their vices, for some it’s smoking or drinking, and for others it is gambling. Like anything, gambling can become addictive, so Australia has laws in place to keep people safe and to prevent people from getting into financial difficulties due to addiction. Laws are always complicated, so here’s a breakdown of Australia’s gambling regulations.

 

The first thing to understand when it comes to gambling laws in Australia is that they are mostly aimed at the gambling operators rather than those who decide to partake in gambling. Many people believe that online gambling in Australia is illegal, but this isn’t actually the case. However, there is much more to it than it just being legal. Operating an online casino to the Australian public was legal before 2001; but in 2001 the Interactive Gambling Act was passed in order to protect the public from the potential harmful effects of online gambling. This law prohibits offering real money online interactive services to Australians, and advertising real money gambling to Australian citizens. However, this act does not make online casinos illegal, and does not contain laws that stop people from placing online bets. In simple terms, it is illegal for online sites to be operated within Australia, but it is not illegal for Australians to play licensed offshore sites. Basically, running a gambling site online is illegal, but playing online is not.

 

Australia has the highest gambling participation rate in the world, and there are many offline casinos that take advantage of this culture. Offline casino gambling is regulated under the Casino Control Act, this describes how casinos should operate and details state and territory guidelines. Another popular way to gamble in Australia is by using the pokies, these are accessible without even stepping foot in a casino. It’s almost impossible to walk into a pub or club and not see people playing these ‘adult arcade machines’. Regulatory laws are in place for pokies that pubs and clubs must adhere to, but anyone wishing to play pokies may do so. It’s your choice if you want to put in $5 or $500. Sports betting is also a way to gamble without entering a casino. With Australia’s love for sport, and the apparent love for gambling, its no surprise that sports betting is common. As with pokies, there is no limit to how much you can bet, and the laws surrounding sports betting are focused on the companies that offer the services.

 

As complicated as gambling laws sound, it’s actually quite simple, the laws are focused on the establishments and businesses that offer gambling services rather than the punters. With the current regulations in place, it would be quite difficult to break the law unless you were really trying to! Gambling: Australia says yes! (within reason of course).

Weird Australian Laws: Fact or Fiction?

weird Australian laws

There are rumours in every country of weird laws that still exist, some of which sound too bizarre to be true. Australia is no exception, but which laws are fact and which are fiction? Well, you’re about to find out!

 

Possession of More Than 50kgs of Potatoes

It’s been claimed that in Western Australia it’s illegal to have 50ks (or more) of potatoes. This may sound like a strange offence but this law is FACT. Breaking this law is punishable by a fine of $2000 for a first time offender or $5000 for a continuous offender, in addition to an amount up to twice the value of the potatoes! This law came about in the 1946 Marketing of Potatoes Act and prohibits anyone from selling, or purchasing 50kgs or more of potatoes unless you’re a member of the Potato Corporation. So, if you’re not a member of the Potato Corporation (and I highly doubt you are) steer clear of over 50kgs of potatoes!

 

Taxis and Hay Bales

One of the most well known weird Australian laws is that all taxis are supposed to carry a bale of hay at all times. This law, however, is FICTION. This law may have been applicable when transport was a horse and carriage, but there is no evidence to suggest that this law still exists. So don’t call the police if your UBER driver doesn’t have a bale of hay in the boot!

 

Disrupting Weddings or Funerals

Many of us would avoid disturbing a wedding or a funeral because its, well, rude; but have you heard the claim that it’s actually an offence? This is another FACT, in South Australia at least. For this, you could be fined $10,000 or face imprisonment for two years!

 

Challenging Someone to a Duel

It may sound like fun to challenge someone to a duel, however, in Tasmania, this is no laughing matter. This is yet another weird Australian law that is FACT. The punishment for this is a hefty $6000 fine!

 

Hot Pink Pants on a Sunday Afternoon

This one is certainly strange, but there are many that insist it is illegal to wear hot pink pants after midday on a Sunday in Victoria. There is no real explanation for why this is supposedly illegal, but I’m guessing that’s because this one is FICTION. No one really knows where this “law” originated from; perhaps the rumour was started to prevent people from making the questionable fashion choice of wearing pink pants! Remember, just because you can, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should!

 

Apparently Australia still has some weird laws that you can be penalised for breaking. To recap, wearing pink trousers on a Sunday is fine, but challenging someone to a duel and carrying large quantities of potatoes is not!

What You Should Know Before Letting Someone Borrow Your Car

borrow car

We all know what it’s like to be put in an awkward situation where we feel as though we have no choice but to agree. This is especially true when someone is in a tight spot and is asking for your help. Has anyone ever asked to borrow your car? You didn’t really feel comfortable with it, but agreed anyway? Often, we find ourselves thinking ‘what’s the worst that could happen?’. When it comes to lending your car, it can actually become quite complicated if the worst does happen, and when it involves a car that’s registered to you, it can be a whole world of legal drama!

 

So what happens if you let someone borrow your car and they get a parking or speeding fine? Unfortunately, as the car is registered to you, the speeding fines will come to you. The simplest way to resolve this is to get the person who was driving the car at the time to fill out a statutory declaration from the RTA stating that they were the driver at the time. This means the fine will be theirs to deal with, and they will deal with the relevant demerit points. Things get complicated, however, if you don’t know the person that well, or if they refuse to sign the relevant documents. If this is the case, you may end up having to go to court to deal with the situation. If you fail to do this, and the fines don’t get paid, your license and registration can get cancelled. Although it might seem like a lot of effort, going to court is your best option in this scenario.

 

Another problem with lending someone your car arises if they have an accident. It’s your responsibility to make sure the person borrowing your car has a valid license because if their licence is suspended or cancelled, your insurance won’t cover any costs relating to the accident. This is also the same with drink driving, if someone drink drives in your car and they have an accident, your insurance won’t cover it. The worst thing about this is that you may be liable to pay for all the damages, this includes your car, the other vehicles involves and public property.

 

In the worst case, your car could be connected to a crime. Even if you had no connection to the crime, you are put in a difficult situation. The best thing to do is to go to the police and explain the situation, you also have a duty to tell the police details of the driver.

 

As easy as it can be to be bullied into lending your car, it can have big consequences for you. It’s best not to lend your car to anyone who you don’t trust fully, or who you know takes risks when driving. The simplest way to protect yourself from any awkward situations is to simply not loan out your car.

What’s The Law About Stolen Pets?

stolen pet

There’s nothing more distressing than losing your pet, but what happens if it has been stolen? As pets are considered property in the eyes of the law, its hard to know where you stand or what you should do if your pet has been taken.

 

In NSW it is a legal requirement to have any dogs or cats micro-chipped and registered. This means if your pet goes missing and suddenly turns up somewhere it shouldn’t, the micro-chip can be scanned and your fury friend will be returned to you as quickly as possible. However, with so many animals going missing every year and not being claimed by their owners, many people who adopt from shelters like the RSPCA end up with an animal that isn’t registered to them.

 

Sadly, people do steal animals for financial gain (if it’s an expensive pure breed), for breeding purposes and also for dog baiting. In the NSW Crimes Act there is a clause that mentions people who steal dogs to profit from rewards by retuning it to its owner. It’s quite a crime to even be in possession of a stolen dog in NSW and you could get a fine of up to $550. If you are found to have been the one who stole the dog, you could be sentenced to a year in prison. It’s not a crime that the state takes lightly.

 

If you believe your pet has been taken, the first thing you need to do is alert both the police and the RSPCA and give them the animals micro-chip details. It’s not possible to officially report an animal as ‘stolen’ but you will be able to report it as ‘missing’. But, anytime an animal is taken to a new vet clinic the micro-chip will be scanned, therefore the vet will be alerted that the animal is missing and the person who brought it in is not the rightful owner. By reporting the animal as missing, you are also preventing any paperwork regarding the change of ownership of the animal to be put into effect. Essentially, no one will be able to legally change the animal’s ownership details from yours to theirs.

 

The laws are quite foggy when it comes to having a pet stolen, as its impossible to report a pet as being stolen. However, you are able to report a pet as missing and inform the police that you believe it has been taken and is not just lost. Due to the clause in the NSW Crimes Act, however, if it is discovered that a pet has been taken, there can be severe ramifications for the thief.

Student Debt: A Breakdown of the New Laws

student debt HECS HELP

As Australians, we are extremely lucky with our quality of education. Everyone who works hard is able to attend university thanks to student loans like HECS and ABSTUDY. It’s important not to forget that this is a loan and not a gift though, meaning, at some stage students will need to pay this back. Anybody who has been, or is currently attending university knows the constant worry of student debt, especially with the continual change in laws. To help you out, here is a quick break down of the law of student loans.

 

Why are there now changes in student debts?

Well, the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) made some adjustments to the higher education sector and that’s what has brought about all the recent changes in regards to student debt. The MYEFO is a budget that outlines the government’s spending priorities, so essentially the government is hoping to retrieve the money given to students, faster.

 

What actually are the changes?

Before the reforms, if you were earning less than $55,874 you didn’t have to start paying back your student loan. With the new changes this threshold has been lowered to $45,000. At the moment, many graduates are struggling to find work (and when they do the salaries are relatively low) meaning, less and less people were paying off their student debt. To counteract this, the new threshold will mean its more attainable for graduates to begin paying off their loans.

 

How much will I have to pay?

As before, how much you pay back will still depend on how much you earn. If you’re earning the minimum of $45,000 you will only be paying back 1% of the loan each year. This amount goes up as you earn more. However, the maximum you will have to pay off is 10% per year and that’s only when you are making $131,000 or more.

 

The bottom line is, there are changes, and there will always be changes when it comes to government funding. As much as it sucks for students that the repayment threshold has been lowered, the repayments won’t actually make that much difference to your salary or your daily life. But, on the bright side, it also means your loan will be paid off sooner, and you will be free from your student debt sooner! These changes in the law are no reason to panic or to change your mind about going to university. It’s important not to forget how lucky we are to have government funding for our education at all!

Australian Censorship Laws: What Are They?

censorship

Censorship refers to the prohibition of any parts of books, films, television, radio or news that are considered too obscene to be made public. In Australia, the Commonwealth Government has the power to make laws when it comes to imported material, but not locally produced material. Australian made TV/radio etc. is left to the state governments in terms of what is censored and what is not.

 

Different works have their own classification systems. Films, computer games and publications are decided by the Classification Board. TV, Radio and internet are covered by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). This can, however, refer online content to the Classification Board. There is also a voluntary labelling guideline for CD’s manufactured in Australia which is managed by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA).

 

The classification board needs to adhere to certain principles; adults have the right to read, hear and see what they want, the decision is theirs. Whereas minors should be protected from content that may disturb them. There are certain topics in films or computer games that will likely mean it is refused classification; these topics are anything that encourages terrorist action or anything that promotes crime and violence. Anything that shows or encourages sexual violence is also likely to be refused classification. The priority of classification is to prevent people from seeing things they don’t wish to see and to pre-warn them of any potentially offensive content.

 

The ACMA was established in 2005 to create a classification system for TV, radio and internet media. For commercial TV networks, the day is split into classification zones with only suitable material for that time being shown. The classifications for each time slot are similar to those used for film, using G, PG, M and MA15+. Shows rated G (general) or PG (parental guidance recommended) can be aired at any time. Anything with the rating of M (mature content) can be shown between 12pm-3pm and again from 7:30pm onwards. MA15+ can only be aired from 8:30 onwards. Its obvious that the times are designed so that young children are likely to be at school or in bed when anything with mature themes is played. TV hosts must also stick to these classification zones.

 

It’s not just hosts on TV that have guidelines though, commercial radio presenters have certain rules they have to follow; these are known as the Commercial Radio Codes of Practice. These laws cover what topics can and can’t be discussed and what language is acceptable. Anything that breaks these laws will not be broadcast.

 

Censorship laws aren’t designed to inhibit us from making our own decisions, but to protect us and our children from seeing things we don’t wish to see or hear. So, we should all say thank you to censorship, for making our world a safer place!

Considering House Sharing? Here’s What You Should Know

sharehouse

Renting can be really expensive and intimidating, especially if it’s the first time you’ve lived away from home. Share housing can be a really great alternative to renting on your own – it’s cheaper and you have people around you if you get stuck! But it’s not always easy. Here’s what you should know before jumping into a house share situation.

 

What Are My Rights and Responsibilities?

This is really dependent on your role in the share-house as there are different scenarios. Often if you and a group of friends move in together you will each be on the lease and have equal responsibilities and obligations. In this situation you would be a co-tenant. This means each person is responsible for paying rent and each person has a relationship with the owner. This also means that the owner can act against any co-tenant individually if there is an issue. Sometimes landlords or agents only want one name on the lease, in this case the name on the lease would be of the head tenant. In this situation the landlord or agent will only deal with the head tenant. Head tenants have the rights and responsibilities of the landlord, meaning they have to collect rent and deal with utilities. They also have the power to ask other tenants to move out. If you are not the head tenant, you are most likely a sub tenant, meaning your agreement is with the head tenant and not the landlord or agent. You still have the same responsibilities as other tenants, such as rent payments, and you should have an agreement with the head tenant which clearly states your obligations. If none of these apply to you, you may be a boarder or lodger. This means the landlord keeps overall control of the house, including your room. You will probably have your utilities included in your rent payments too. Boarders and lodgers aren’t covered by the Residential Tenancies Act, and can be evicted without notice. Basically, the less responsibly you have in the share-house, the less rights you have as well.

 

How Do We Avoid Difficulties and Disputes?

The best way to avoid tension is to decide at the beginning of the tenancy how chores will be divided and agree on some simple house rules. This will mean everyone is clear on how the house will be run and should prevent arguments. It’s also a good idea to set up an automatic payment system for rent and bills to ensure everything is paid on time, so there’s no reason for awkward conversations about money.

 

What Happens If Problems Arise?

The first way to deal with problems is to sit down with your housemates and try to come to a solution everyone is happy with. If this doesn’t work, there are plenty of tenancy advice helplines to help you find a solution. If there is an issue that can’t be resolved, you are able to go to court. However, this is a last resort and it’s often better for everyone involved to find another way to solve the problem.

 

Whenever a group of people live together (no matter if you’re strangers or best friends) problems can arise. So follow this advice and you’ll have a much more pleasant living situation.

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