Transfer Ownership
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Property transfers that aren’t associated with buying or selling property are common. Depending on the circumstances, some transfers can be exempt from land transfer duty.

Strategic Ownership Transfer Options

Transferring property to another person or how property is held happens all the time. The reasons can include,

  •  adding a spouse or partner 
  •  changing from joint ownership to defined percentage ownership
  •  business considerations
  •  a deceased estate
  •  gifts and trust declarations

Depending how a transfer is completed, it may be possible to avoid the land transfer duty that usually applies.

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Transfer of property between spouses or domestic partners can be exempt from land transfer duty in certain circumstances. Known as “love and affection” transfers, exemption from land transfer duty may be available if the property is: 

  • Residential,
  • The principal place of residence of at least one of the spouses/domestic partners,
  • Transferred for no consideration.

To enquire whether the property transfer to a spouse or domestic partner qualifies for a duty exemption please contact our office.

Property ownership transfers made as a result of a marriage or domestic partnership relationship is exempt from land transfer duty where:

  • The transfer is made only because of the breakdown of the relationship.
  • The person transferring the property and the person receiving it are parties in the marriage or domestic relationship.
  • No other person takes or is entitled to take an interest in the property.

There are no residency requirements or restrictions on property type or consideration for transfers resulting from a breakdown of a relationship. Exemption from land transfer duty can also extend to include transfers from trusts and companies and transfers to dependent children.

For a confidential discussion about these complex transactions, please contact our office.

Property transfers from a deceased estate to beneficiaries named in a Will is generally exempt from land transfer duty if the transfer is made consistent with the last wishes of the deceased.

However, if the beneficiaries of the Will agree to make changes to the last wishes of the deceased, usually by a Deed of Family Arrangement, land transfer duty may be payable in certain circumstances. These are complicated considerations and legal advice should be obtained before any action is undertaken.

Land transfer duty is payable when you acquire property or an interest in property in some way other than buying it. This can occur by receiving a gift, through obtaining rights and benefits by leasing property, or as a result of a declaration of trust.  

In summary, a transaction or an arrangement that provides you with an economic benefit in relation to land may result in you being liable for land transfer duty. If this is a possibility for you, contact of office as soon as possible.

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