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Simplified Easement Regime for Small Lot Developments

12 June 2013

 

The concept of high-density development easements has recently become law, with effect from 14 May 2013.  This is the result of recent changes to the Land Title Act 1994.

As explained when the Bill was first introduced into Parliament, the aim is to reduce the administrative and compliance burden on the development industry.  This is achieved by reducing the documentation needed to record easements for terrace-style housing.  Ongoing costs for homeowners are also relieved by removing the need to establish and run body corporates.

The new regime means that easements for support, shelter, projections, maintenance and roof water drainage for small lots can be put in place by the simple registration of a new form of easement.  This applies only for "small lots", which are lots with an area of 300m2 or less.

The new sections in the Land Title Act 1994 set out basic terms for each of these types of easements which will bind the owners of the benefited lot and the burdened lot.  These obligations relate to issues such as the liability of the parties to contribute to the cost of maintenance of shared structures, obligations to insure and rights of access to maintain and replace structures.

By providing simplicity and consistency as to the terms which bind the parties, the legal costs incurred in undertaking document preparation or in obtaining advice on easement terms is substantially reduced.

In turn, it is hoped that this will improve affordability of housing, by reducing the cost of undertaking small-lot subdivisions for developers and by removing the need for unnecessary body corporate levies for lot owners.  All this is much needed in a market where stresses have been felt in the property development industry for some time.

 

For more information contact:

Rebecca Castley | Partner
Mullins Lawyers
t +61 7 3224 0211
f +61 7 3224 0333
rcastley@mullinslaw.com.au

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