General Legal Legal

A Brief Guide to Property Law in Melbourne Australia

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Melbourne is one of the most stunning cities on the planet. Rich in culture. Home to some of the most fantastic architecture. And home to some of the friendliest and most imaginative people on the planet. So its no surprise people flock from all over the world to live in this fantastic city.

But Australia has prospered as a nation due to their strict rules and firm stance on issues such as immigration and property laws. And it is important that you fully understand the various property laws in Melbourne before you buy any property.

We are going to look at the various laws that concern regular home buyers, such as citizens or immigrants moving to Australia. And we are going to look at the more specific laws concerning real estate sales and property development within the city.

 

Buying A Home

Buying a home in Melbourne is quite similar to buying a home in other first world countries such as the UK and USA. You will need to acquire a mortgage to purchase the home unless you are fortunate enough to be able to afford to buy it outright. Acquiring a mortgage can be difficult, especially as an immigrant, but one option that may be useful for you if you have someone that can vouch for you is using a guarantor for your home loan. You can read more about how to go about this on this guide on using a guarantor for home loans to make sure you do everything correctly.

There are some provisions if you are an immigrant to Australia. Firstly, you need to have the correct type of visa to assure you can actually purchase a property. If you only have a temporary visa you cannot buy property, only rent it. You need to have a resident visa to be able to buy a property.

But, even buying a home for personal use comes with some strings. There is a lot of documentation that needs to be filed correctly, on top of any permits you need for additions such as conservatories or swimming pool installations. So it is wise to consult a property lawyer to find out if there is anything you need to be doing before buying.

 

Buying Property To Sell

Buying property with the intention to sell comes with some extra restrictions. This falls under the term Property Conveyance. This set of rules covers anyone looking to sell or rent out their property.,

The first thing to consider is zoning. Zoning decides what type of buildings are allowed in a certain plot of land. For example, a complete residential zone cannot have any major shops. An industrial zone can’t have residential houses. So, if you purchase a home you can’t just change it into a retail store simply because you want to expand.

If you did want to do that you would need to petition the local government to change the zoning rules. But this is an expensive and tiresome process.

Another thing you will have to consider is tax. Owning property comes with its own tax implications. And you need to make sure you are aware and paying these taxes. This is one of the biggest issues real estate investors face. One incorrectly filed tax form can lead to a lot of legal trouble.

 

Renting Out

When it comes to renting there are a few rules you, as the landlord, have to adhere to. The biggest one is the capacity. There are strict rules about how many people you are allowed to home in a single unit. This rule often puts a limit on the maximum and not the minimum. For example, a two-bedroom flat will most likely have a legal limit of four people.

Now you as the landlord have the right to decide if you want to hit that maximum or not. You could rent it just 2 and convert one of the bedrooms. But you cannot go over this limit. The limit is dependent on the property and often the zone as well.

You also have to adhere to the laws pertaining to being a landlord. This includes running maintenance on the property in the event of a non-fault issue occurring. You also have to make sure the people living in your property have the correct visas and permits. If you don’t check this you could land yourself in a lot of legal trouble down the line.

 

Related

Breaking Into the World of Law: Starting Your Own Firm

Starting your own law firm can lead you to be part of a very strong and profitable industry. Lawyers and law firms are required for a variety of tasks and it is the opinion of many that it is a crucial service. Setting up your own law firm is something that is going to take time and precision as it is such a professional industry. Here are some key steps to help you break into the world of law and become a successful and trusted firm.

 

Legal Qualifications

First things first, you are joking to have to ensure that you are qualified to start up a law firm. You will need official approval and a license to practice before thinking about a single case. In order to be a working solicitor you will need the following qualifications.

 

-Three-year undergraduate degree

-One year Legal Practice Course

-Two years of Law Skills Course

-Two-year law training contract in an established law firm

 

Once you have gone through the motions of your law training you will be able to look at setting up your own firm, I would recommend remaining as a working solicitor for some time to give you some further experience in the industry.

 

Premises

After your training in order to set up your own law firm, you will have to go about sourcing some form of premises to operate from. That could start off as a home office situation and develops into actual offices depending on your budget. You may be able to find somewhere a lot easier if you are backed by external funding or investments, I would recommend using this money to establish your firm in a stable location.

 

Hiring

 It will come as no surprise that you will be unable to set up a law firm alone, you are going to need a team of talented and effective solicitors as well as extra staff 5o help around the firm. When it comes to hiring the greatest team of employees you should advertise the positions you need and put potential applicants through a fairly rigorous interview. Working in law is a demanding profession and you will have to be sure the people you hire are up to the task, and are worthy enough to represent your firm.

 

Training

In the initial stages of setting up your law firm it would be a good idea to set up some kind of training initiative. With training you will be able to ensure that all bases of your staff’s ability is checked over, this not only allows you to test the strength of your team but also tells your staff exactly what you are looking for from them. Just because someone is qualified for a position doesn’t mean they are the right person for the job, the law industry can be a cruel place and people who represent your firm must be able to deal with this in a professional way.

 

Student Placement

A great way of getting the word out about your law firm as well as getting first dibs on budding lawyers would be to set up placement schemes for students. This would build your reputation in a positive way in your local community and get people talking about your firm. As well as publicity you would be doing something good for the public which in turn boosts your image and makes people more likely to choose your firm to represent them, when they see you doing good for the community.

 

Advertising

How you advertise your services can be crucial in bringing your firm more clients, whether you choose to market online or in a physical way you should target a wide range of people. You must ensure you have a strong online presence giving potential customers all of the information they need to decide they want you, getting a new website design is a good idea as a professional-looking page is crucial for you to be taken seriously. Like any business your image must be maintained to show that you are serious about helping your clients with their needs.

 

Expanding the firm

If you have taken all of my advice you will be sure to have made progress in terms of your firm’s growth. How you deal with the expansion of your law firm is totally dependent on the direction you wish to go in. Some choose to remain relatively local and deal with the lower scale cases but, if you have aspirations of spreading countrywide I would begin by looking at investing in another premises, location is key as you must be able to simultaneously provide legal advice in two different areas, expansion like this will require more money, more staff, and more resources but the benefits are more than worth it.

 

Customer Service

A final piece of advice to be applied to any business including law would be to maintain a strong respect for your customers. The legal industry is one that can involve some sensitive issues, it is vital that you do not forget to instill a level of professionalism towards clients and their cases. This can be implemented through inspections and training regarding client interaction, particularly for those who are fresh out of Law school with little experience, customer service can be overlooked. However it is the simple things like being respectful towards clients that will give you and your law firm a professional reputation.

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The Complete Guide to Getting an Australian Residency Visa

Every year it is estimated that thousands upon thousands of people consider emigrating to Australia on a permanent basis. The lure of the beautiful beaches. The charm of the sunny weather. The rich history and fantastic culture. It’s no surprise that so many people want to run away to Australia and never return.

But, of course, not all of these people will actually move over, for a number of reasons. Some can’t afford it. Some simply change their mind. But most simply can’t pass the visa application process or secure a residency visa.

 

Australian Immigration

Australia is one of the countries known for its tough immigration stance. It is no small feat to secure a residency visa. They operate on a points-based system that assesses all applicants on a number of different factors.

These factors include everything from an educational background and language proficiency to employment history and personal interests. No aspect of a possible immigrant’s history is ignored when deciding who to let into the country.

The Australian government decided what jobs and skills are worth more points, based on the needs of the country. Jobs such as Doctor or Engineer will improve your chances of entering the country, whereas a job working as a fast-food worker might not be to your benefit. But this isn’t guaranteed. There have been times when the country needs more labor for general jobs.

So the first step to securing your chance is getting a residency visa is to take stock of your history and information and check out how many points you will get during the process. If you meet the requirement you will be off to a good start.

 

Family

If you happen to have family in Australia, or family roots from the country, your chances are greatly improved. Like with any country, you have certain rights attached to your heritage. If you can prove this, you stand a greater chance of getting approved.

Another way you could bypass a lot of the application process is through inheritance. If a family member in Australia leaves their estate to you, you can bypass the points system of the application process. In this instance, you would need to secure professional legal help and fill out a qld family provision application to ensure you actually receive the estate in its entirety.

 

The Application Process

Once you have calculated how many points you will receive due to your history you will now need to provide a number of different checks.

The first is, of course, a passport check. You need to have a valid passport for your current country. Without one, you will be finished before you even begin your immigration journey.

Secondly, you will need to make sure you have got a full police check done and ready to provide. Australia is very strict about criminal records. Even some minor infractions can lead to you be rejected from the country outright. So before you start the process make sure you have your check done.

You will need to put together a complete and comprehensive employment history. This goes beyond a simple CV. You will need to provide proof of income and references. The Australian government needs to know you are experienced and reliable. If you have a history of unemployment or being fired a lot, chances are you won’t get into the country.

 

Job Hunting

Employment is a huge part of immigration. Australia is insistent on only allowing in people who are going to work. They want to keep unemployment numbers down and have taxes being brought in. So providing your employment history is only the first step. You need to actually secure a job.

Now it is possible for you to wait until you are moved and settled to start job hunting. But this won’t help your chances of making it into the country.

Your best bet is to start job hunting while still in your home country. Start attending online or phone interviews. Apply to as many jobs as you can, even if you get a lot of rejection notices. If you can compile a lot of evidence of trying to secure a job you will greatly improve your chances of getting approved for immigration.

If you can actually secure a job in the country, you can have that company act as a reference for your application and get it sped along. The country is more willing to allow people in if they have already secured a job. So this is one of your best bets for getting into Australia.

 

History

It never hurts to start brushing up on your Australian history and customs as well. This will play a huge part in getting into the country, but it is mainly for what comes next. A residency visa is only the first step. After that, you will want to start looking into getting citizenship for Australia.

During the citizenship test, you will have to prove you are clued up on their history. Think of it as a history test but focusing more on basic history and customs, rather than specific details.

 

We hope this has helped you understand how the application process for immigration to Australia works. It is a tricky process but is a worthwhile one. Australia is a fantastic country and, if you make it there, you will not regret your decision to move!

 

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Health & Safety Regulations Every Small Business Owner Must Know

Keeping your small business afloat is a lot of responsibility. But one of the most important aspects of owning a small business is ensuring you are aware and compliant of health and safety regulations. They ensure your employees and clientele are kept safe. Failure to comply can lead to injury or damage which can be expensive to deal with and detrimental to your small business. While it shouldn’t be an issue for the vast majority of small businesses, it’s probably worth noting that your employees have the right to refuse to do any task they deem as unsafe. So, if you’re wanting to make sure your business is on top of its health and safety, pay attention to this advice and be sure to do your own research – or else your business could be on the line.

Furniture

In order to prevent injury and potential lawsuits, it’s probably worth checking the furniture you have around your workspace. Check your desks and chairs are sturdy and unlikely to break. If you’re unsure it may be worth investing in some new furniture that passes health and safety regulations. For example, the best office chairs to invest in if you’re wanting to ensure you’re meeting health and safety regulations are like the office chairs reviewed here. Don’t take any chances, your employees and clients should always be your number one priority.

Cleanliness

It should be a given, but it is very important you keep your workspace as clean as possible. It could be worth investing in a cleaner, but if it isn’t in your budget, you should ensure your workspace is given a deep clean at least every two weeks. It may also be worth establishing a basic cleanliness standard that all your employees are aware of. Make sure your soap dispensers are consistently topped up and add a sign beside your sinks to remind people to wash their hands. It could also be worth in investing in some hand sanitizer pumps around the workspace.

Fire Safety

Also, an extremely important aspect of keeping your workspace safe is ensuring you’re on top of your fire safety. Make sure you test your fire alarms regularly and have a fire escape plan in place that your employees are confident with. Ensuring you have fire extinguishers around your workspace could be the difference between a burnt-up microwave and losing the entirety of your workspace.

Space to People Ratio

Many people may not know this but there is a regulation in place to ensure your employees have an adequate amount of space to work in. To stay within regulation, you should ensure per employee, there is at least 41 square feet of office space.

Obstructions

To help reduce the risk of injury, it’s important to limit the clutter in your workspace. Any doors, especially fire exits, should never be blocked and walkways should be clear. Should the worst happen, and you and your employees need to exit the workspace quickly, it shouldn’t be made any more difficult by obstructions. Don’t put your business at risk and keep your workspace tidy.

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