Getting to know Lucy Dickens

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The Flat Rate Settlements team prides itself on delivering innovative, high-quality and affordable settlement services.  Since its inception, Supervising Lawyer, Lucy Dickens, has been instrumental in cultivating strong team culture through her passion for innovation, effective mentoring and continuing professional development. The result is a high-performing team with a high level of respect for their […]

Free agency – consider a private sale

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Selling your property yourself, without using the services of a real estate agent, is known as a private sale. Pros and Cons The obvious advantage of a private sale is not paying a real estate agent’s fee, which may be a substantial saving, particularly an agent’s fee calculated as a percentage of the sale price […]

Retirement village contracts

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Choosing a retirement village is an important decision and may involve a large financial commitment. What does a retirement village contract usually cover? The contract will stipulate the terms and conditions of your right of occupation and your financial commitments, including: an accurate description of the premises; your right to access any common facilities and […]

I wasn’t happy with the first inspection! Can I inspect again?

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Technically, no. Under the the standard-form contract for sale of land in Western Australia, known as the Contract for Sale of Land or Strata Title by Offer and Acceptance, you are entitled to one inspection of the property at a mutually-agreeable time during the week before settlement. If you identify problems that need fixing, you can request […]

Hiring a real estate agent

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Making some simple enquiries before you engage a real estate agent to sell your home (or assist you to buy one) will ensure you choose the best agent for the job. Licence check Contact the Department of Commerce of Western Australia and check that the agent is licensed. Real estate agents must be licensed by […]

How to avoid arguments over family loans

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Have a written agreement If you’re borrowing or lending money, particularly where family or friends are involved, it always makes sense to formalise your agreement. A properly drafted agreement will protect your rights and help prevent a disagreement or relationship breakdown. For very straightforward matters, a simple Deed of Acknowledgment of Debt will formalise the […]

Do your homework before you buy a property

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Inspection Unless the contract makes specific provision, properties in Western Australia are sold in the same state and condition as when first inspected. So it is essential for buyers to conduct a thorough inspection. Once you have inspected the property, if you want changes to be made prior to sale or you want to ensure […]

Subdivisions – an introduction

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If you live on a larger block, you may wish to subdivide and sell off a portion of the land to access funds or reduce the amount of land that has to be maintained.  Alternatively, you may wish to use part of the land to build a new residence for yourself or develop two new […]

Non-compliant RCD’s and smoke alarms – your rights explained

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Recovering costs from the seller after settlement The Electricity Regulations 1947 (WA) require a seller of residential property to install at least 2 residual current devices (RCD’s) and hard-wired smoke alarms in the property before the sale is completed (settlement).  Sellers face hefty fines for non-compliance. Buyers should check that the property is fitted with RCD’s […]

Granny-flats – things you should know

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Using existing land, granny-flats may be a home extension or a self-contained dwelling.  A granny-flat may be a convenient and cost effective option, striking a good balance between close access to family and independent living. As no property transfer is required for granny flats, there is no transfer duty or real estate agent fee, and […]