Property Law

Commercial and Residential, Property and Conveyancing

For all Commercial and Residential Property and Conveyancing legal needs, Lang, Hemming & Hall is your “go-to” property law firm.

How We Help

Lang, Hemming & Hall has decades of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law and we invite you to contact one of our dedicated team for a discussion about your specific needs.


Our current clients include:

  • Private
  • Small Business
  • Commercial
  • Family Trusts
  • Superannuation Trusts
  • Large Corporation and Commercial

Our Property Legal Services

Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • “Off the Plan” Contracts
  • Commercial & Investment Property Acquisition
  • Property Development
  • Property Leasing – Commercial and Retail
  • Real Estate Acquisition and Disposal
  • Strata Title

Property Law and Conveyancing FAQs

Additional Costs

When purchasing a property, you should be mindful of the additional costs that can be associated with this process.  Not all of the list below will apply to everyone, but some potential charges to consider include:
– Lender’s fees
– Inspection costs
– Insurance
– Moving costs
– Estate agent fees

Government Charges

When purchasing, there are standard State and Local Government charges such as Stamp Duty, Registration fees and search and inspection fees.

Use our Stamp Duty Calculator to estimate your Stamp Duty charges

Other Disbursements

Sometimes we incur additional costs such as non-local phones, bank charges, photocopying and fax charges.  These are automatically tracked and noted on your file.

If these charges exceed our standard $35.00 per file rate we reserve the right to charge for them on an as used basis.

All fees and charges are presented and explained to ensure you have the whole story of the property being purchased.

Search Fees

We carry out a comprehensive list of property checks and searches, which are charged to you without markup ensuring you are only paying for what you get.

Flat Rate Fees

We believe every conveyance and every client is different.  For this reason we charge a flat rate for the normal conveyancing attendances but will charge on a “User Pays” basis for additional attendances that are outside the normal requirements. Sometimes these costs are able to be recovered or negotiated with the other side.

What is Conveyancing?

Conveyance is the name most commonly used for the transfer of property from seller to buyer.

Why should I use a Conveyacing Solicitor?

Buying or selling property is usually one of the biggest financial transactions of your life.

The transaction is governed by a great deal of rules, regulations, and legislation.  The consequences of making a mistake can be both costly and heartbreaking.

In Queensland only qualified legal firms are entitled to charge for undertaking a conveyance.

You can undertake the conveyance yourself or by means of an “assisted kit” Just remember though that you will be the one carrying the burden if something goes wrong.

Conveyancing Queensland has an in-depth understanding of all the law concerning property transactions. We are required by law to carry professional indemnity and fidelity insurance.

When should I talk to a Solicitor?

Once you have made the decision to buy or sell your property, engaging the services of a solicitor is your first step.

Often there will be “special conditions” to your contract that you should be advised on. Even if these terms are for your benefit you will need to be assured that the wording does achieve what it is intended to.

Five minutes by a professional overlooking a contract can often save hours of time and years of heart-break.

Why should I use Conveyancing Queensland?

We offer personalised customer service, delivered by experienced solicitors and supported by our own leading edge technology.

Our firm is small enough to know our customers by name and big enough to deal with the issues.

We take the time to know you and your needs to ensure we provide the right advice for now and into the future.

What is the cooling off period and how does it affect me?

In Queensland the system of conveyancing is different from other states in Australia.
Queensland does not operate on the basis of exchange of contracts but rather the buyer and the seller are bound contractually (subject to specific terms and conditions) immediately after the contract is signed by both parties.

To afford the Buyer some form of protection, a statutory cooling off period and disclosure requirements have been established under the Property and Motor vehicle Dealers Act (PAMDA).

A cooling off period is the right of a purchaser of property to cancel the agreement for any reason within 5 working days from the date the accepted contract is delivered back to the Buyer.

Canceling the agreement (or rescinding, as it is known) can cost the purchaser 0.25% of the total purchase price and often it is better to seek the advice of the Solicitor who may be able to relieve you of the obligations by another method.

The cooling off period does not apply to all transactions (it does not apply at auction or by private sale for example) and can be shortened or waived by completion of a certificate of independent advice signed off by your Solicitor.

What is a disbursement?

A disbursement is the name used to describe payments made on your behalf for third party payments.  Most commonly it is used to describe the payment of costs of the search fees.

What happens if either party cannot settle on the due date?

Mostly this is dealt with by requesting an extension of time from the other party.

This is important as Queensland operates under a system known as “time is of the essence” which means that where a date is stipulated for the performance of an obligation, the date and time will be strictly adhered to.

Whilst extensions of time are not uncommon they are not granted “as of right” and are considered not to be part of the basic conveyance requirements.  Depending upon the situation, an extension of time may find you being liable for interest on the unpaid purchase price or at the least the cost of your own and/or the other side’s additional legal fees.

If a party finds themselves in breach of the contract, they will face a number of consequences (including but not by way of limitation) forfeiture of the deposit and being sued for damages or specific performance.

What happens at settlement time?

Settlement is the finalisation of the sale or purchase process. There are usually four parties involved:

  • the representatives of the vendors and their banks and
  • the representatives of the purchasers and their banks.

On settlement, the vendor will:

  • discharge any mortgage they have with their Financiers and deliver all documents to the purchaser’s representative;
  • who in turn checks them and delivers them to the purchaser’s financier;
  • who will advance the funds to enable the purchase to complete.

The real estate agents are then authorised by both parties to release the deposit and to deliver the keys to the new purchaser.

Who notifies the authorities that I have purchased a property?

When your transfer papers are lodged for registration after settlement, the Local Council, the Public Utilities (such as water) the Valuer General and the Office of State Revenue are all automatically notified of the purchase.

Other providers, such as the phone and electricity suppliers however, will need to be notified by the purchaser.

See our “shifting check list” for the list of people who need to be notified.

What is a Change of Name?

Also known as a Title Transfer
Changing the name on a title usually involves the addition or removal of one party to or from the property’s title. This is known as a Title Transfer.

If the change of name is merely that – a change of name and not a change of person, (eg  changing you name when married) it may be that there is no change necessary or at the least merely registering  an appropriate record of change of name.

In a case where the change of name is actually a change in person or identity (eg changing a trustee but not the trust), one has to file a full property…. (any more to this??)

The Process
Our Solicitors will not only prepare and guide you through the standard forms and processes  – the completion of the Land Transfer form, along with Lodgment Fees, Stamp Duty and Capital Gains Tax (if the property was an investment) – they will make sure you understand each step.

Legally, it may be that you are considered to be selling an interest in the property from one party to another. There may be certain exemptions, allowances or rebates that are available and there will be other costs to be considered. Some of these are outlined below.

Other financial costs may include:
– Loan discharge fees
– New loan application fees
– Consent fees
– Stamp Duty
– Mortgage insurance

What is a Guarantors advice?

A Guarantee is an agreement by which the Guarantor accepts the responsibility for a debt owed by someone (the borrower) to someone else (the lender) if the borrower fails to do so.  The bank will require a certificate to be signed off, acknowledging that the guarantor understands the risks with the process.

The Difference Between Guarantees and Indemnities
Guarantees and indemnities are very similar in nature.  In both cases the person providing the guarantee or indemnity will ultimately become liable for the debt if the original borrower does not satisfy it.

In the case of a guarantee the guarantor only becomes liable if the borrower refuses to pay.

With an indemnity the “guarantor” becomes liable if the original borrower has not satisfied the debt regardless of whether any demand has been made directly upon the original borrower or not. Under a guarantee the liability only arises when the rights against the original borrower have been exhausted.  Most documents are called guarantees but in actual fact also contain indemnity provisions and thus it is not safe just to consider the title of the document.  The content of the document contains the obligations and must be perused and considered carefully..

Your Liabilities
Basic Liability –
The Guarantors guarantee that they shall pay to the lender the basic loan.  This amount will only become due and payable in the event of a default of any description by the original borrower.  Should any default be made then the guarantor is liable for the full amount regardless of whether the term of the loan has yet expired.

Additional Liability –  If the borrower defaults under the original agreement the lender may incur further costs in attempting to obtain repayment of the debt.  These costs will include the lenders administrative costs, legal fees, bank fees and charges and of course interest on those charges and fees.  Charging interest on these additional fees of course has a snowball effect and can increase the actual liability very quickly.

What is an Inter-Family transfer?

An Inter-Family transfer is essentially the transfer of property from one family member to another.

Just like a change of name, Inter-Family  transfers are common practice, yet each scenario is different.

When is an Inter-Family transfer required?
We have found some of the most common catalysts include:

  • Death in the family,
  • Divorce,
  • Sub-division of larger estates,
  • Inheritance,
  • Gifting, or
  • Buying and selling among family members.

Some cases involve family members who are co-joint owners in a property, deciding to transfer the ownership for part of the property to another family member.

No transfer too complex
Conveyancing Queensland’s team of solicitors are well equipped to handle whatever family transfer scenario you present.

We listen, ask questions to ensure we fully understand your unique needs, then offer practical, easy-to-understand advice for all parties.  We will handle your family transfers in a thorough, personoalised and efficient manner.

What is a Power of Attorney?

The granting of a Power of Attorney gives to the recipient the power to do all actions and things and to bind third parties just as if the original grantor of the Power of Attorney had entered into the Contract themselves.

There are many different forms of Powers of Attorney
However they fall into five main categories:

  1. Limited Power of Attorney (granted to allow limited transaction)
  2. Normal Power of Attorney (full transactional powers over the Grantor’s property/assets)
  3. Financial ( dealing only with financial matters)
  4. Health (dealing with health treatment and related issues)
  5. Enduring Power of Attorney (granted to act on behalf of incapacitated Grantor)

In Queensland, if any document signed under Power of Attorney is intended to be registered at the Department of Natural Resources (the Title Office) then the Original Power of Attorney must be registered at the Title Office.

There are a host of conditions surrounding each of these categories, which our experienced Solicitors can explain to you in detail.

About refinancing a property

Never rush in
If you are thinking about refinancing your home loan, there are many things you must consider and it is not something you should rush in to doing.

The overall costs involved with the process may outweigh the benefits you receive.

Some of the fees associated with refinancing your home loan include:
– Conveyancing fees
– Government fees and charges
– Potential lenders’ fees

Transfer within couples

Expert advice, for every scenario
Our expert solicitors will guide you, step-by-step, through the transfer of property between:

  • Married couples
  • Same-sex couples
  • De-Facto partnerships
  • Blended families

Property transfer, minus the STRESS
These transfers do NOT need not be stressful.  Although these cases can sometimes involve complex negotiations, with the help of our experienced solicitors, you can carry out your property transfer quickly and smoothly, without unneeded conflict and confusion.

Getting the full story
Because no two family transfer cases are the same, we offer every client the same professional, personal and completely confidential service.  We listen and ask questions to make sure we understand your story; and then we explain our legal story to you.  Our goal is to make sure you understand every step of your property transfer journey, and that we are working together to arrive at the best possible outcome for you, our client.

What is Buying ‘Off The Plan’?

Buying a property “off the plan” is the purchase of a property which is either not fully constructed or for which construction has yet to commence. It is a popular way to invest, as there are many advantages, but also some risks to consider.

Advantage of Buying Off The Plan

  • You are purchasing a brand new property with warranties on work.
  • The opportunity to customise it to your own specific requirements.
  • Potential benefit from any capital gains generated during construction.
  • A long settlement phase also allows the buyer time to realise assets or raise finance.
  • A new property as an investment, generally qualifies for depreciation allowances.

Risks Associated with Buying Off The Plan

  • Possible minor changes to the floor plan, size and configuration of the lot.
  • Community living issues (eg. the keeping of pets).
  • Suitable methods for payment of the deposit.

If you are considering purchasing a property off the plan, be sure to obtain advice from your solicitor.

“Off the Plan” Contracts

Purchasing a unit ‘off the plan’ means that you are buying a property that is not yet fully constructed; you have only the glossy brochure- ‘the plan’- on which to base your purchasing decision rather than being able to inspect the completed property first-hand.

Buying ‘off the plan’ is a popular investment choice, especially in residential property, as one can lock in the purchase prior early on as well as potentially customise the construction to one’s own needs and desires. You are only required to pay a deposit (usually around 10%) with the remainder due at settlement upon completion of the project.

Advantages to buying Off the Plan include:

  • You know the property is brand new.
  • You may be able to customise the construction to your own requirements.
  • You may be able to benefit from any capital gains generated during construction, if the market price of the property is executed to do increase upon completion of the construction.
  • A long settlement period allows time to realise assets and/or raise funds for the purchase.
  • If the purchase of a new property is for an investment, a buyer may qualify for a depreciation allowance.

There are of course risks as well to buying off the plan, namely that there is not a physical structure in existence yet to be examined. Changes could potentially be made during construction to the floor plan and lot configuration that might affect your unit, perhaps indirectly (i.e. traffic flow, parking facilities). The developer usually retains the right to make ‘minor alternations’ to comply with governmental regulations or for commercial reasons. A sunset clause may also allow a developer an escape from the contract should the project not be able to be completed for financial reasons (in which case, your deposit will be returned).

Because of the potential unknowns and because standard contracts are not used in off-the-plan sales, it becomes critical to have your solicitor carefully examine any contract you are considering signing.

You may wish to insert a due diligence clause, allowing for the ability to carry out further inquiries before fully committing to the sale. Likewise, the community rules should be reviewed by your solicitor as you’ll be bound to the restrictions on uses in common areas such as the ability to keep pets.

Commercial & Investment Property Acquisition

The acquisition of commercial and investment property should be a carefully considered process, done in partnership with an expert professional employed to represent your interests.

Potential implications include:

  • Income Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Obligations as the Buyer to ensure the Title is clear and all documentation is in proper order for the transfer of property

Some things that you’ll want to know when acquiring property are:

  • Is there any land tax owing on the property you are about to buy? Whenever possible, you’ll want to secure a Land Tax clearance certificate from the Vendor.
  • What are the different rates of Stamp Duty?
  • What is the Land Tax threshold?
  • A Critiqe of current lease that is in place.
Property Development

The business of property development includes activities such as renovation and re-lease of existing buildings, the sale of unimproved land parcels for future use and development, as well as the purchase of undeveloped land for the express purpose of building specified structures. Through the process, developers coordinate with architects, city planners, engineers, surveyors, contractors, leasing agents and of course, solicitors.

Property developers purchase raw land and existing developed properties and coordinate details to turn their vision into a reality. Developments may include residential land, strata titles, industrial estates, commercial buildings, shopping centres, golf courses, hotels, clubs, urban renewal projects, and rural properties.

The steps of developing a property generally include:

  • Purchase of raw land or existing developed property
  • Determination of market value of property
  • Understanding of zoning and subdivision restrictions
  • Development of building program and design
  • Obtainment of necessary approvals
  • Financing of real estate deals
  • Building or arrangement for builders to build structure(s)
  • Creative control of the design process and execution of the development according to their vision
  • Sale or lease/management of project upon completion
Property Leasing – Commercial and Retail

Chances are that you’re likely to engage in either a residential or business lease at some point and when you do, there are certain rights – either as a lessee or a lessor – that you will need to be aware of as they may be affected by how the lease is set out. In its simplest form, a lease grants from the landlord the exclusive possession of land/premises for a certain period of time.

Because as a rule you will be bound by anything you sign, it is highly important to engage legal assistance so that you know what your rights and responsibilities will be.  Often, a landlord may use a pre-prepared document. Both parties should carefully examine all the provisions of the agreement including:

  • What is the term of the lease?
  • What is the rent and how is it calculated?
  • Who pays for water usage?
  • Does the rent increase? If so, what are the terms?
  • Is there an option to renew?
  • What happens if the tenant gets behind on the rent?
  • Who pays the insurance?
  • Who is responsible for maintenance costs?
  • What happens if the landlord fails to do something?
  • Is there an existing mortgage in place? If the property is mortgaged, the Bank must give consent to the creation and registration of the lease.

Q Solicitors have been advising our clients on the legalities of Property Leasing for decades, so we can help you make sure that ALL your bases are covered from the get-go… whether you are the lessee or the lessor.

Real Estate Acquisition and Disposal

Real Estate is defined as a parcel of land as well as anything permanently fixed to it, namely buildings and other physical structures, as well as its natural resources such as crops, minerals, and water. Real Estate is then further divided into sub-groupings based on its use: residential, commercial, and industrial. Whether buying or selling, it is highly important to have one’s real estate strategy support one’s overall business objectives and long term goals.

Real Estate acquisition and disposal encompasses management of activities such as site selection review including environmental review, preliminary assessment of market value as well as suitability for intended use, due diligence investigation, risk assessment, negotiation of purchase agreements, and funding/financing analyses. Other related services include the formation of partnerships, joint ventures, holding companies, and other entities specifically for the express purpose of buying and selling real estate.

Our Real Estate Acquisition and Disposal Services include:

  • Negotiating and drafting letters of intent, purchase and sale agreements, and ground leases.
  • Reviewing and analysing title and surveys, developing solutions to title issues, and negotiating title insurance policies and appropriate endorsements.
  • Reviewing and analysing environmental reports, navigating compliance and closure, and advising on legal strategies to limit risks and liabilities.
  • Analysing the existing property and improvements as well as intended future buildings and improvements for compliance with applicable building, zoning, subdivision, environmental, and other building and land use laws and regulations.
  • Negotiating acquisition and permanent financing contracts and security instruments.
  • Negotiating and drafting any necessary off-site access or utility easements and of reciprocal easement agreements and declarations of covenants and restrictions such as for shopping centres and other integrated property developments.
  • For clients having substantial inventory of real estate holdings, assistance in managing those assets through multi-property sale/leasebacks and dispositions of surplus properties.
Strata Title

Strata Title refers to a type of property ownership as set out for an individual lot within a multi-level apartment block or horizontal subdivision which also includes a share of the development‘s common property areas. Strata Title Schemes are then composed of all individual lots as well as the shared areas in which the individual lots all own an interest. Lots are defined by the physical boundaries of their structures and each have their own Title and Lot Owner.

Strata developments can be residential, commercial, retail, mixed use developments, serviced apartments, retirement villages, caravan parks, and resorts. Common property includes everything on the parcel of land that isn’t within the individual lots such as stairwells, elevators, foyers, driveways and carparks, roofs, and gardens.

A legal entity is created for a Strata development of a owners corporation (body corporate) to manage the common spaces as well as design and enforce by-laws for the tenants. A developer transfers the individual lots to the first purchasers, but the common property to the body corporate. Tenants within the scheme each own an interest within the body corporate and can vote upon how the common property is administered in trust.

Important considerations when buying into a strata scheme:

  • The nature of the by-laws for the scheme
  • What dues are paid into the body corporate
  • How the community property is administered

As with any contract, you will be legally bound by your signature, so it is highly important to perform due diligence and know what issues may be at hand.

Contact Us

To further discuss your legal matters, or arrange a time to meet with us, please email or contact us. We look forward to being of service.


Or visit our sister company, Conveyancing Queensland, for an obligation free, online quote for your conveyancing needs.


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