07 November 2008

NSW Government portal - Life Events

This site includes links for the following topics:
Buying a property, selling a property, investment properties, building & renovating;
Moving House - local services, moving from interstate, from overseas, utilities, visas;
Retiring - leisure for seniors, finance in your retirement, leaving the workforce, health;
Caring for Others - help for carers, physically impaired, the aged;
Death & Bereavement - dying with dignity, death, bereavement, wills & legal issues
and [more..]

04 August 2008

Assessing decision-making ability

Correctly identifying whether someone is capable of making their own decisions is fundamental to the protection of their human rights.
Anyone who needs to assess decision-making capacity, such as friends, family or social workers, must consider the particular elements of the legal test specific to the decision.
For instance, in assessing whether someone has the capacity to make their own financial decisions, you will need to consider two questions.
First, is the person capable of managing their own property and affairs?
They don’t have to be able to manage them in the best possible way, they just have to be able to manage them. Issues to consider include:
A. whether the person is able to deal in a fairly capable way with the ordinary regular dealings in life so as to provide for their own welfare and anyone dependent on them,
B. whether they understand their assets and outgoing expenses, and,
C. whether they can manage their money to provide food, clothing, medicine and other necessities.
Second, if they can’t manage their affairs, is there a risk that they may be disadvantaged or harmed, or their money or property wasted or lost?
In addressing capacity it is important to avoid discrimination. Don’t assume a person lacks capacity based on age, appearance, disability, behaviour or any other condition or characteristic.
Before concluding lack of capacity, ensure that everything possible has been done to support the person to make a decision.
See the full article in the PDF file

10 July 2008

Advice Price plus four percent?

"Market Distortions when Agents are Better Informed: The Value of Information in Real Estate Transactions" NBER Working Paper Series No. 11053; National Bureau of Economic Research, 2005. (with Syverson, Chad)(PDF format):

In the US real estate agents receive only a small share of the incremental profit when a house sells for a higher value. There is an incentive for them to convince their clients to sell their houses too cheaply and too quickly.
Levitt and Syverson find that homes owned by real estate agents sell for about 3.7 percent more than other houses and stay on the market about 9.5 days longer, even after controlling for a wide range of housing characteristics.
How that relates to today's market, or Australia's market is open to speculation

10 June 2008

Purchasing Strata Property

A strata scheme is a building (or collection of buildings) where individuals each own a small portion (called a Lot) and where there is also common property (such as external walls, windows, roof, driveways, etc.) which every owner shares.
Before purchasing a strata title property you should be aware of the following issues:

  • What would I actually own in a strata scheme?

  • Owners corporation and executive committee

  • What are levies?

  • Are there any meetings I would have to attend?

  • What are the by-laws/lifestyle restrictions?

  • What should I do before signing a contract?

  • Buying ‘off the plan’

  • The contract

  • Insurance

For the answers to these questions, see the Office of Fair Trading. ..home_owners/Buying_property.
AND the Law Society of NSW:
For Strata living generally:

27 May 2008

10 year Sinking Fund Plans

1 July 2008 was the deadline for Strata Number down to 10,000 (SP with more than 5 numbers in it). So if your body corporate is SP9999 or less you have another year before you have to get started.
What it involves is that owner corporations are required to work out their capital expenditure needs for the next 10-years.
Owners corporations are expected to use either their own resources or outside experts to devise these plans.
When you are required to commence this planning is determined by your strata number:
  • SP 30,000 and over were to have been organised by July 2007

  • SP 10,000 – 29,999 by 1 July 2008

  • SP 1 – 9,999 by 1 July 2009.

By the second AGM after these dates a plan should be in place. So hopefully, this should remove one of the surprises of being a unit owner.

07 April 2008

Property Conveyancing

Conveyancing to some is a clerical, time consuming and impersonal process. Keep in mind that it is basically swapping a lot of money for a bit of paper that says you have the property.
An overview of the process should help you manage your part in the process.. [more..]

22 February 2008

Consumer Credit

Consumer credit or consuming credit, borrowing money is easy. It’s making the repayments that can be difficult.
Find out about some of the pitfalls as well as ideas for managing credit wisely at the NSW Department of Fair Trading:

10 January 2008

Emails at Work

Employers are liable for the actions of employees. There are three main risks with email:
• sending emails containing blue humour (harassment).
• making a legal contract by email.
• defamation.
In a perfect world you would have a lawyer draw up your email policy. But skilful legal drafting is not as important as judgement on the content.
See the guidelines, www.brennanlaw.com.au/documents/...