Get down to earth information about how the law affects you personally and in your business life. Our blog is full of practical tips to help you cut your legal costs dramatically.
A Property Settlement Agreement, more commonly referred to as a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) in Australia, is a practical and effective method for officially documenting the distribution of assets and liabilities following the dissolution of a marriage or de facto relationship.
Starting from from 6 December 2023, new regulations for fixed term contracts in employment will be implemented. We break down the key points of these regulations.
Using a Parenting Plan Template to document shared parenting responsibilities after you’ve parted ways with your partner is a brilliant way to simplify and make things easier for yourself.
In Australia, de facto relationships have legal implications that are similar to those of married couples. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to de facto relationships, including the rights and responsibilities of de facto partners, the process of making a financial agreement (sometimes referred to a de facto prenup), and the factors that determine whether a couple is considered de facto under Australian law.
In the complex world of trade and commerce, businesses must take essential steps to protect their interests. One such crucial step is establishing a product supply agreement or Agreement for the Supply of Products or Goods.
The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) allows for the division of certain superannuation interests between parties to a marriage or de facto relationship. Before making the financial decision to divide your superannuation assets with your partner, it is important that you are aware of the process and what is involved in carrying out each step.
In this article, we’ll discuss the impact of initial contributions in property settlements (the process of dividing finances after separation or divorce) to help you better navigate the process and avoid any nasty surprises popping up along the way.
Retirement savings in the form of superannuation funds have become an increasingly important form of family wealth in Australia. But did you know that most separating couples fail to consider superannuation when dividing property after a relationship breakdown? This article will help bring you up to speed with everything you need to know about splitting superannuation contributions with your spouse.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that separating couples are facing additional challenges. In particular, restrictions on gathering and moving between different places mean that property or financial settlement negotiations cannot take place in person. In this article, we’ll outline the property settlement process and help you better understand your options when it comes to finalising an agreement during COVID-19.
De facto couples are entitled to much of the same financial, property, and parental rights that the law affords to married couples. In this article, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions to help you understand how the law defines and identifies de facto relationships.
Are you allowed to keep a family pet if you live in an apartment bound by strata scheme bylaws? It is different for each Australian state and the law is changing. Read on for a summary of the recent changes, case law and what to include in an application to keep a pet in a strata complex.
If you are struggling with family or relationship issues, or feelings of grief, sadness or anger associated with separation or divorce – help is available. Many support organisations exist in Australia offering various services to help you cope with and overcome painful and difficult times in your life. There is no need to suffer in silence.
Employees have the right to be paid the correct pay rate for all time worked but some employers dodge their legal obligations and underpay their staff – this is referred as wage theft. Wage theft can take many forms – from not paying the right wage, not paying all the hours or not paying other entitlements like super. This article covers wage theft in all it’s forms and new legislation in Victoria that has made wage theft a crime.
In late 2018, the Federal Government introduced the domestic and family violence leave entitlement to Australia’s national workplace relations system. We examine an employees entitlements under these rules.
Going through a separation or divorce and navigating change is a stressful and often overwhelming process. Common matters that arise during the settlement process include working out how to divide property or deciding who gets custody of the kids. But one of the lesser-known challenges is determining which party will get to keep the family pet.
Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 2.5% and this increase is effective in three stages for workers under awards. See the article to view the effective date for each group.
An increase of platform work in the ‘gig economy’ signals a shift away from Australia’s standard employment model. The gig economy is a labour market comprising of independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers. Most notable for its flexible nature, gig work offers individuals an alternative to a conventional 9-5 routine but employers should be aware of the risk of sham contracting to avoid the wrath of the Fair Work Ombudsman.
In March 2021, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) was amended to add a new entitlement to the existing National Employment Standards (NES). The changes provide casual employees with the right to access permanent full time or part time employment if a specific set of criteria is met. This process is also known as ‘casual conversion.’
On 26 March 2021, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) was amended to change the workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. In order to ensure your employees are receiving the correct entitlements, it is important that you are up-to-date with these developments.
For anyone considering separation, the thought of living with your ex-spouse under the one roof might seem horrifying and ridiculous! Most people would agree that the idea of having to sharing a home with a person who you have either lost all feelings for – or still have intense, raw feelings for – would be very difficult. Amazingly though, the number of Aussies who are separated under the one roof is much higher than what you might think.
If you have an elderly relative or friend coming to live with you, you might be wondering whether a formal agreement needs to be made, or if it’s easier to stick to a casual arrangement.
Employers can make their workplace less strange by supplying a Welcome Pack or Onboarding documents. This information lessens the mystery of the new workplace and helps your new employee acclimatise more quickly. This means they can feel more relaxed and do their job more effectively sooner.
Running a business is like being the captain of a ship setting sail for an exotic destination and a pot of gold. As captain, it’s your job to set the course and navigate, keep it from sinking when the unexpected strikes, and get the most of your crew. When it comes to getting the most out of your team, using a system for managing employee performance keeps everyone on track and allows you to spot small issues before they become a big problem.
If you’re considering sharing a workspace – such as a room, office or clinic – you may think you need to set up a full retail or commercial lease. However you don’t have to lock yourself and your tenant into a rigid lease agreement to share a workspace. Instead, you can set up a licence to occupy with a Shared Office Space or Licence Agreement.
Under Australian Law it can be tricky trying to work out whether your commercial property needs a commercial or retail lease. It’s important to choose the right option for your tenant so you comply with the law. This article helps you work out whether a property you wish to rent out falls under a retail or commercial lease.
Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 1.75% and this increase is effective in three stages for workers under awards. See the article to view the effective date for each group.
A will is a legal document which prescribes what happens to your assets after you die. A validly executed will is the best way to ensure that your family is adequately provided for and that your estate is dealt with according to your wishes. There are 6 things that can go wrong if you don’t have a will!
If life was flying by way too fast #beforecorona and you used to wish for everything to stop so that you could catch up, then ‘your wish is granted’! If you know the feeling of being at capacity, feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, then it’s time to get organised and recharge, so that you can be ready to take off after Covid-19. I’ll cover the benefits of decluttering, four areas to declutter that will ease the sense of overwhelm, and some strategies to re-charge so that you’re ready to hit the ground running.
The very knowledgeable Wendy Thomson has shared this excellent article on how Commercial Property managers are dealing with Tenant requests for rent reduction or abatement. If you’re a landlord who manages your own commercial or retail property you can use Wendy’s advice if you’re dealing with the same situation.
Now more than ever, we are all very aware of our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and the need to be resilient and calm in the face of adversity. At a time when peoples’ lives have been thrown upside down, we need to find some structure and clarity so that we are equipped to deal with confusion and rapid shifts. Health and Wellness Coaches faciliate behavioural change so you can have bettr wellbeing, lonegevity and quality of life. Here are their tips for coping in times of chaos.
With COVID-19 dramatically changing the Australian business landscape, many small and medium-sized employers are finding themselves in unchartered waters. They are having to consider a number of scenarios with regards to their business, such as restructuring, scaling down or even closing down their operations. These are all difficult decisions – and they impact both the employer and the employees. If you are in this position there are essential steps you should take to manage employees correctly in these circumstances.
Tired of arguing with your ex over childcare issues? You can create more harmony in your co-parenting relationship by using a parenting plan. A Shared Parenting Plan is a mutually-agreed-upon plan that formally documents the parenting arrangements for children after their parents divorce or separate.
Australia does not have clear definitive laws when it comes to privacy and photography. We don’t have laws that give you a right to privacy in general, which means there’s no law stating that an image of you can’t be used without your permission.
There’s no doubt that text messaging or SMS is a mode of communication that’s gaining popularity in the business sector. But there’s one business transaction that should never be made via text, and that is the dismissal a staff member or termination of employment. Recent court cases have highlighted the risk that employers who give into the temptation of dismissing a staff member by text rather than providing a face-to-face meeting could be vulnerable to an unfair dismissal claim.
There are a variety of circumstances that might lead your tenant to ask for an assignment of the lease or to sublet the leased premises. This article outlines the steps a Landlord of a commercial porperty should take if your tenant asks this question.
Leases and Licences are types of agreements that can be used to allow a person to occupy land or a building owned by another in return for rent or a licence fee. If you are thinking of implementing either a Lease or a License, you should be aware of the differences of each of these documents.
Yes, you can sublease commercial or retail premises, provided that the terms of your Lease do not prevent you from doing so. If you wish to sublet part of your space then you need to follow the correct procedure so your sublease is approved by the Landlord.
Assigning and subletting a lease are two very different procedures. We look at the differences.
“Assigning” and “subletting” may sound like interchangeable terms. But as we shall see, they are vastly different.
If you have space in your leased commercial premises (either all or part) that you are thinking of assigning or subletting to another, you should make yourself familiar with the legal effects, the pros and the cons of both assigning and subletting.
A recent decision of the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Charlie Bridge Street Pty Limited v Petrazzuolo: Petrazzuolo v Charlie Bridge Street Pty Limited  NSW CATCD1) has raised some interesting issues about the right of a landlord to terminate a lease for non-payment of rent without giving notice to the tenant. The decision also found that a provision of the printed Law Society of NSW lease does not comply with section 129 of the Conveyancing Act and is therefore inoperable.
Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 3% and this increase is effective from the first full pay period after 1 July 2019.
In this economic climate, it is not a far stretch to imagine commercial businesses in the unfortunate position of having to end a lease early. In this article, we consider the ways a tenant may be able to exit a Lease in a commercial setting.
Signing a retail lease is one of the most important business decisions you will make. It is therefore essential that your retail lease feature clear and explicit negotiated terms so that both parties are clear on how the lease is intended to operate. In other words you need to make sure that your lease says what you mean.
There is no doubt that the thought of going to court is scary for most people. You don’t know whether your will get your desired outcome or how much it will cost, or even if it’s necessary. Answering the question of what you should do if you separate from a long term partner is complex and dependent on many factors. Read this article to learn more.
Are you signing or thinking of signing a commercial lease? As a tenant there are a few key provisions to look out for because they have the potential to make or break your tenancy. This article explains what they are and what you should look for.
This article answers common questions about separation and property settlement. It covers separation under one roof, how to document your settlement legally, dealing with superannuation, transferring property, maintenance, divorce applications and more.
Retail lease transactions are heavily regulated in Australia and in most states and territories, retail tenants have the right to a minimum 5 year lease term. There are circumstances however, where your might want to set the minimum term at less than 5 years. This article explains how this might be done.
Negotiating a commercial lease for the first time can be a little daunting. But like anything, it becomes easier once you’re familiar with the language and customs. We’ve outlined a list of the important factors to consider when you’re thrashing out the lease with your Landlord. It will help you to find that Sweet Spot where you both get a good deal out of the arrangement.
There are some important differences between renovating an apartment and renovating a free standing property. You don’t want to upset the neighbours or fall foul of the body corporate. You can stay out of trouble by following the tips in this guide to body corporate rules.
Getting your prenup done may not be high on your wedding preparation to-do list but we explain why it’s a really bad idea to leave it till the last minute and why it may put the agreement at risk.
Subleasing your commercial or retail premises can be a smart move.This article breaks down the pros and cons of subleasing a commercial or retail premises from both the Sublessor and Sublessee’s point of view.
If you’re setting up a company, your should consider these six vital issues before you sign off on your shareholders agreement.
There are a variety of circumstances that might lead your tenant to ask for an assignment of the lease or to sublet the leased premises. This article outlines the steps a Landlord of a commercial porperty should take if your tenant asks this question.
When you’re trying to sell your business, the most valuable steps you will take is to consider who your perfect buyer might be and plan your strategy for that perfect buyer. Learn to think like your buyer so your advertisement can be in the places where they are likely to see it.
Did you know about the unclaimed Money fund? We explain how to search for unclaimed money in Australia to see if you have a nest egg waiting for you somewhere.
Here is a tale of woe that business owners often experience, and which causes them deep frustration and some considerable, unbudgeted-for cost to their commercial activities. Many business owners conduct their business under a business name, company name, and/or logo (trademarks) and they have not registered these trademarks with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in Canberra.
When setting up a lease it’s important safeguard your investment against tenant default. One way is to nominate a Guarantor for the lease. Guarantors are the people (or other legal entities) who agree to be responsible for the debts of the tenant, should the tenant default.
Earlier this month I had a call from Steve. He had been speaking with his friend (Jodie) whose business partner had died recently in a motor accident, leaving her and the business in a tricky situation. What would happen if your business partner died? Have you put a plan in place? Are you aware of the steps you could take to protect your livelihood?
A restraint of trade clause is a term commonly included in employment contracts. It operates to protect your confidential information, trade secrets, business operations and client relationships. This article looks at the how you can successfully implement a restraint of trade clause.
A burning question was sent in asking about the ability of a parent to apply for sole custody and the factors that would influence the success of that application.
Don’t panic! Casual employees have always had the right to request to become permanent. The only real change is the process; which has become more formal and will now be part of most Modern Awards.
Commercial leases can be a complicated topic. There is a myriad of laws and regulations that govern what you can and cannot do mainly if the premises are primarily used for retail purposes. In this article, we are going to everything you need to know. After completing reading through this article, you will be ready to lease your commercial property with confidence.
Prospective landlords often believe that trusting a property manager to oversee their investment property is the best course of action. But hiring a poor property manager can be a risky move if they turn good tenants into nightmare tenants. There are three good reasons why a poor property manager is a risk to your sanity and bottom line.
Sales Agency agreements are used when a principal engages a sales agent to sell products or services to customers, on the principal’s behalf. We look at the terms and clauses which should be included in a Sales Agency Agreement so that you can protect your business.
The recent ruling by the Federal Court of Australia in Workpac v Skene has resulted in the potential classification of casual employees as permanent employees. This decision is significant for small businesses, many who employ staff on a casual basis, as staff may now be entitled to additional benefits. In this article, we discuss the impact of the decision and potential impacts on your business.
A Reseller agreement is a binding contractual agreement used to govern the sale, marketing and support for a product in a retail network. A comprehensive reseller agreement will protect you from potential liability claims, potential disagreement between parties or unwanted costs.
We look at the difference between divorce and separation, and what you should do to legally terminate the relationship, including financial and property settlement.
Sometimes it is not entirely black and white when you are trying to determine whether you are in a de facto relationship. What does the term de facto relationship mean in Australia and how do you work out whether it applies to you?
Sometimes, the performance of terms under a contract does not go smoothly and you may wish to terminate the agreement. The right to terminate a contract can arise from a variety of circumstances, either under the agreement itself or at common law. Your right terminate will be highly dependent on both the terms of your agreement and the conduct of the other party. In this article, we explore the specific circumstances resulting a right to terminate.
The announcement by the NSW government, made earlier this month, announced a raft of reforms designed to prevent investor owners from using their apartments for short term, Airbnb-style lets. But the lack of detail in the proposed reforms has left people perplexed.
Guarantees are used in a variety of situations to secure a loan, lease or the performance of a contractual obligation. However, if you are considering becoming a guarantor, it is important you understand your responsibilities under the agreement, as there are certain risks involved.
It can seem overwhelming when you’re separating from a long term partner especially when it comes to dealing with who gets what. Seeing a real life example of a separation agreement will remove the mystery around the separation settlement process and hopefully provide some clarity.
It’s not unusual for a de facto couple to contemplate marriage and you would think the law would make it simple for them to decide how to deal with their assets will be dealt with if the relationship breaks down. But it hasn’t been – until now. We take a look at a recent court case that has opened up the way for de facto couples to make a Financial Agreement that will be valid while they are living together and during marriage.
Keeping good employment records can be tricky for many small business owners, sometimes it just seems like another time wasting piece of paperwork. If this is how you feel, then you might be interested in a new app called “record my Hours” . It helps employees and employers keep track of the hours worked.
When you’re loaning money to a friend, family member or business associate, missing one simple step could cost you money or the relationship. Read this article to find out what it is.
What’s the difference between a distributor or reseller and which should you use to get your product to market?
Recently the High Court of Australia determined the case of Hall v Hall  HCA 23 concerning a dispute over the payment of spousal maintenance. We will have a look at what a ‘financial resource’ is and whether no knowledge of that entitlement can impact a claim for spousal maintenance.
Planning is one of those essential business skills that is easy to ignore until you discover how useful it can be. I am a recent convert and this article tells a little of my transformation from being a failure at planning to tasting the sweet fruits of success.
From the 30th January 2017, all private Landlords and Property agents need to be registered with Rental Bonds Online (RBO). They also need to offer the online service as the first option for the lodgement of bond to all new tenants.
There is no doubt that approaching your first Christmas after a Separation or Divorce can be tough. Even those glad to be free of an unhappy relationship might also feel some sadness about facing the Festive Season as a single person. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make the Christmas period a little more bearable.
If you are separated or divorced from your children’s other parent, the holiday season can be an extremely difficult time for all involved. You’ll naturally worry about whether you’re being the best parent you can be and trying to find the delicate balance between making your children happy and making everyone else happy.
It’s that time of the year when thoughts turn to Christmas; and depending on your frame of mind, it can cause either panic or jubilation! We look at a few common business issues like employing casuals, managing shut downs and making sure everyone stays safe at the Christmas Party.
Earlier this year, Grant Hackett received more unwanted media attention with reports he was suing his solicitors for preparing a defective Financial Agreement. Whilst we’re not all that interested in his personal life, these events do raise some interesting and common issues regarding prenup’s and financial agreements in general.
First Home Buyers are becoming increasingly reliant on the bank of mum and dad to get them into their first home. Recent stories in the media look at how this trend is affecting the rates of home ownership, rising real estate prices and the gap between the haves and have-nots.
There is no doubt that a distributor arrangement will get your products into the hands of more customers. To maximise the success of this relationship answer the questions outlined in this article.
One of the most emotion-filled events for which people can use mediation is property settlement during a separation. If you and your ex-partner can’t agree on how you will divide your property then mediation is an excellent way to bypass costly legal proceedings.
Retail leasing is quite regulated and if your tenant asks to assign the lease or sublease the premises there are particular actions you should take. We’ve put together a handy table that breaks down the Landlords obligation for each Australian state.
No matter what age your children are, you’ll inevitably worry about their finances and future security. If your children are adults who have yet to achieve the ‘Great Australian Dream’, then you might be interested in exploring the options that will help your child invest in their own home sooner.
It’s a situation every landlord hopes to avoid – non-payment of rent.
And while you do hope it’s not going to happen to you, if it does you need to take a pro-active approach and contact your tenant in the right way at the right time. As retail leasing laws vary from state to state, we’ve put together a page that gives you the information you need.
If you’re considering sharing a commercial space – such as a room, office or clinic – you may think you need to set up a full retail or commercial lease. But you don’t have to lock yourself and your tenant into a rigid lease agreement to share a space cooperatively. Instead, you can set up a licence to occupy with a Shared Office Space or Licence Agreement.
It’s easy to put off chasing up a debtor in the hope that the money is on its way but being proactive will show your customers that you are serious about enforcing your credit terms and increase your chances of recovering the debt. We look at some tips that will reduce the pain of chasing debtors.
As a landlord, you invest time in screening suitable tenants, decide who is best placed to look after your investment property and subsequently enter into a lease agreement. However, with the rise of the sharing economy, you may be unaware of how your property is actually being used. If your tenants sub-let the property without your knowledge or permission, do you have any rights to reclaim possession?
So, you have an idea, invention, design or concept that you’ve registered under Intellectual Property Rights, but now you’re not sure how to cash in on that idea? Read on to discover just how easy it is.
Dispute Resolution Process for Commercial and Retail Leasing for each Australian state set out in easy-to-read table format.
We examine the proposed changes to NSW residential tenancy laws that are designed to protect victims of domestic violence.
Do you own a house in NSW that was built before 1980? If so, it may be affected by loose-fill asbestos which could mean you are unable to sell or rent your home or investment property in the future.
When you’re completing a lease for a Queensland property where you intend to register the lease then you will need to provide a “Title Reference” number. We show you how to find it.
It’s often the details that make the difference between success and failure. In lease terms neglecting to negotiate an Option to Renew clause can undermine future success and cause chaos for your established business. We explain what an Option to Renew provides and why you should take the time to negotiate it before you sign the lease.
As the owner of a private company, it’s normal – and completely legal – to borrow money from your business. However, thanks to Division 7A of the Tax Act, failing to properly record that loan could land you in some serious strife come tax time. Here’s how it works, and how to avoid its impact this end of financial year.
The Family Court has put together a video for 5-8 year olds to explain what happens if they have to see a Family Consultant.
Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 2.4% and this increase is effective from the first full pay period after 1 July 2016.
Choosing an executor to administer your last Will is an important task. We’ve compiled a list of common questions and answers to help you choose an executor and prepare them for the jobs they will need to do.
There’s no doubt that using referrals to grow your business can significantly boost your brand and income. By creating and maintaining strong referral networks, you’ll gain an invaluable source of advertising that just keeps on giving! Due caution needs to be taken, though, and you should never assume that your referral partner knows the ‘steps to the dance’ and has the same quality performance standards as you do.
Once you have considered all the factors of the previous three steps – you can decide on a fair agreement for your circumstances – whether it happens to be 50/50 or some other ratio. Your next decision is to determine how you will document the arrangement: whether you will keep control of the process and use a binding financial agreement or enter the legal system.
Once you have identified the property pool and weighed up the contributions of each party, the next step is to estimate what the future needs of each party is likely to be. As with the previous steps, the answers you get will be based on your individual circumstances.
After separation, there are four steps tha partners should take to decide how the property pool will be split. After idenitfying the property pool you need to consider the contributions of the parties to the asset pool (s 79(4) of the Family Law Act).
There are a lot of myths surrounding de facto separation and divorce in Australia. One is that assets are split 50/50 between the parties. But this simply isn’t true. We look at the facts behind this myth and outline the process of how you determine a fair division of the property pool.
If you have just filled a casual position you might be wondering whether it is worthwhile putting an employment contract in place. Well, the short answer is yes and this video will explains why a written agreement will give you more control over the terms of the employment arrangement so that you don’t fall victim to the implied terms of a verbal contract.
So, you’re organised, you’re diligent – you make a Will and have all your affairs nicely in order. Tick, tick and tick. But all this comes to nothing if your loved ones don’t know where you have stored your Will.
In the past, some of our customers have experienced a frustrating technicality when making a binding financial agreement if they were living together in a de facto relationship, but planning on getting married at some point in the future. The courts have recently cleared up this confusion in the case of Piper & Mueller .
Many couples enter into co-ownership of property as joint tenants but sometimes this arrangement is no longer appropriate and it needs to be changed. We examine the circumstances under which you may want to sever a joint tenancy. It is a straight foward process that can be done by either party without the permision of the other co-owners.
If you are a commercial or retail tenant, you may think that having a signed lease in place with the property owner is all that is necessary to give you security of tenure. However, there are other steps that you need to take to ensure that your leasehold interest in the land is secure.
There is no doubt that two (or many) heads are better than one when it comes to tackling a business project. Teaming up with others in a partnership or joint venture can provide the skills, enthusiasm, resources and capital to turbo charge your own individual efforts. And while it’s stimulating to discuss joint goals you might be less enthusiastic about discussing the practicalities of working together. We take a look at the questions you really need to answer before embarking on that new venture.
My daughter has had relationship issues with her husband for a couple of years and they now live separately but still under the same roof. They have one daughter. My daughter is a saver and has paid off the mortgage on their house. Her husband is a spender who always runs up debt on his credit card, paying huge interest rates. My daughter is concerned that if anything happens to her, her husband will have her half share of the house as well as his own. She has no confidence that he will look out for their daughter.
Starting a business is exciting and overwhleming – there is so many details to think about and plenty of tasks to cross off your to do list. You may speak to your lawyer about the correct company structure to establish for example whether you should start your business as a sole trader, partnership, director of a company or through a trust. But have you thought about how your private life can impact on your business life and asset pool?
Recently two children challenged their mother’s Will after she left a sizeable portion of her estate to her esoteric healing guru. They challenged on the grounds that their mother did not adequately provide for them in her Estate. The court ultimately denied their challenge.
A Security Deposit or Bond is a sum of money paid by the tenant to the Landlord to secure the obligations they have agreed to under the lease. We look at the procedures of taking and drawing on a security bond.
When a couple enter into any Financial Agreement it is required by law that each party receives independent legal advice. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you prepare for your legal consultation.
Methamphetamine manufacture is on the rise and poses a risk to landlords due to property damage and expensive cleaning costs. Meth labs have been found operating from homes in the suburbs, high rise apartments and increasingly, in rural locations. Do you know the tell tale signs that a property is being used as a meth lab?
Quick summary of permanent part time employment in Australia so that you understand your obligations under Fair Work law. Part time employees have the same rights as other permanent staff, the only difference is that they work less hours.
The NSW government mandates strict laws regarding swimming pool fencing to reduce child fatalities. There are new changes taking effect from 29 April 2016 that require all homeowners with a pool to have a valid Certificate of Compliance or relevant occupation certificate before they can sell or rent a home in New South Wales.
We’ve trawled through the archives for our top Christmas tips on managing employees, not getting ripped off at the shops, knowing what you can and can’t do to your rental premises if you’re planning a little DIY, and how to avoid losing your sanity over the festive season.
Selling a business takes planning, preparation and organisation so you can get the maximum asking price. Give yourself plenty of time to put everything in order – your accounts, systems, people and those must-have presale documents. As a business owner you need to realise that the time spent on preparation and the quality of information you can provide to a potential buyer will have a major bearing on the success of the sale.
The sensible response is not as much as this guy!! If you’re an employer or running the HR department you need to manage the risk of people getting in too much of the festive spirit. This article from HC Online outlines what to do before, during and after the function so that everyone has a good time without causing major headaches.
It may be seem like a generous act of goodwill to allow your tenant to move in before finalising your lease – but this decision can have big consequences for you down the track. We examine the three main reasons why you should resist the temptation to let your tenant move in before they have signed on the dotted line.
Workplace Basics is a new online, interactive quiz that helps employers and employees check their knowledge of workplace rights and their compliance with workplace obligations. It makes learning about Workplace compliance alot more fun – if you like quizzes, that is!
There are a bunch of grey areas when it comes to managing a separation from a long term partner who is also a parent of your child/ren. Thankfully taking care of child support payments is reasonably black and white. You have two options to choose from – either applying to the Child Support Agency or making a private agreement between yourselves. We explore both options and how they can help you to stop arguing over child support.
Yes, sometimes factors exist which will impact on an otherwise valid contract and if the mistake concerns a fundamental matter, the mistaken party can apply to the courts for relief. We look at different types of mistakes and how a mistake can be rectified.
One of our customers contacted us this week, enquiring as to whether his long-term local lawyer, who had acted on behalf of himself and his wife for many years, could prepare and finalise his Financial Agreement. The difficulty with appointing your family’s long-standing lawyer to finalise your agreement is that the same lawyer cannot act for both yourself and your partner. This can raise all sorts of issues for the couple and the agreement.
While most small business operators possess many wonderful skills, deciphering the law may not be one of them, and having a lawyer on hand to help interpret and understand the law just isn’t a reality. That’s why this Guide by ACCC, explaining the Australian Consumer Law in simple terms, is such a helpful resource.
While real estate agents can utilise tenancy databases in connection with the rental properties they manage, they must follow legislative requirements, Commissioner for Fair Trading Rod Stowe said today. This article outlines the correct procedues for using the tenancy database.
You could be forgiven for thinking that employment laws have gone mad following the Fair Work Commission’s decision that facebook unfriending constituted bullying in the workplace. Is it really true? Or did the facts get lost in all the confusion and hype?
We answer this common question and explore the actions you should take to comply with Family law.
In Australia there are two main types of property ownership – we explore the legal differences between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common so that you can choose the right arrangement for your investment needs.
Anyone who exchanges time for money needs to get the most out of every working hour. Few things sap your time (and energy) like dealing with conflict or misunderstandings.
The best way to reduce confusion in your working relationships is to get clear about the scope of the project from the beginning. You need to approach initial discussions with your client as a forensic investigation and scrutinise what they really want, not just what they say they want.
A recent Canadian Court case highlights the importance of formalising a separation when property and children are involved. In this particular case, a man was able to prove that he still entitled to half of a property he purchased with his estranged wife over fifty years ago.
If you operate a business, chances are you understand the importance of building an online presence through Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. But did you know that the way you conduct yourself on these platforms is affected by Australian Consumer Law (ACL)?
When you create a tangible object – you can say “I made this, I own it, it’s mine.” But when you’re dealing with IP, it can be more challenging to protect your creative material – especially when other people are involved. The term IP is broad and at times nebulous, which is why it is so important to consider the implications of its ownership within a business context.
Spousal maintenance is an issue that can be addressed within a financial agreement along with the division of assets and debt. When doing so, it’s wise to think about how the payments will be terminated.
When your rental property is empty it can be tempting to grab the first prospective tenant that applies but this is a rookie mistake. Bad tenants can cause you, the property owner, a great deal of emotional and financial stress. Follow these tips to recognise the tenant from hell before they move in.
The inescapable fact is that house prices keep climbing while wages stagnate. Statistics suggest that Aussies are becoming home owners at a later age and committing to higher house debt than the generations that went before. What can you do to make the most of the resources you have and get your foot in the property ladder?
How did legal lingo become so complicated? Where did the ‘hereinbefores’, ‘heretofores’ and ‘hereinafters’ come from? To answer these questions, let’s take a little stroll through history to 1066 and the Norman conquest.
Probation periods of weeks or months are used by employers to assess the suitability of a new staff member. Fair Work provides these 6 free templates to help you manage the probation more effectively. It includes letters for successful and unsuccessful probation, checklists and performance plans.
Public Wi-Fi is an extremely risky way to access the internet – you know it’s true but the lure of free internet is tempting. The wi-fi provided by your local cafe owner might be just fine but do you know what or who is lurking nearby ready to hijack your data?
A popular strategy among business owners is to purchase (or transfer) their business premises into a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF). The business property is then leased to the business entity (or individual) as the tenant. This is a great way to leverage your assets as long as all dealings between the SMSF and related parties are kept at arms length and on Commercial terms, that is, you have to get the paperwork in order.
The Fair Work Commission has released a series of changes following its four-yearly review of modern awards. The changes deal predominately with the issue of excessive annual leave accrued by employees. The changes cover directing employees to take leave, cashing out leave and taking leave in advance.
It’s tempting to turn your spare room into a stream of extra income, and it’s pretty easy to do with tools like AirBnB. But don’t jump into this venture lightly because there are serious issues to consider.
When negotiating a Commercial Lease it gives you greater power to understand the key provisions that will affect your bottom line. It’s not just the rent, there are a number of different clauses in the lease that contribute to the overall costs. Be aware that there are provisions that provide a little wiggle room and these often provide an opening to reducing the costs when negotiating with the Landlord.
“I inherited some money from my father and a friend separately and some years apart. I subsequently bought a flat (apartment) for roughly to the same value as both inheritance monies combined. I am now divorced and about to go through the legal process to sort out the assets as both parties cannot agree on a settlement arrangement. Are those inheritance monies considered part of my asset pool from which my ex-wife has a claim?”
It’s that time of year when Fair Work makes a decision on the minimum wage rates. This year the minimum wage will increase by 2.5% and all employers should adjust their pays for the first pay period starting on or after 1st July 2015.
Registering your interest in valuable goods on the PPSR or Personal Property Securities Register, could be the difference between your financial freedom and financial ruin. Registering allows you to claim the goods back if your customer doesn’t pay for them or becomes insolvent.
Be aware that if you are negotiating by email, as is commonly done in business, the contents of your negotiations may constitute a valid and binding contract, as the court found in this case. It’s a scary thought in this day and age where emails are sent so easily and without considering possible ramifications.
Entering a distribution arrangement is one effective strategy to expand your market reach. But like all business relationships, distribution arrangements work best when they’re effectively managed and monitored – which means putting your relationship in writing.
Recently, the daughter of mining billionaire, Michael John Maynard Wright, Olivia Mead (19) launched a successful challenge to her deceased father’s Will. Ms Mead claimed that as his dependent, she was not left with adequate provision from her late father’s estate. Under “family provision” legislation in each state, a person who is a “dependent”, may make a claim if adequate provision has not been made for their proper maintenance, support, education and advancement in life. The court has the discretion to make provision out of the estate, as it thinks fit.
Anna sent in this Burning question – she asks “Why do some say that they are absolutely necessary and others say that they are very easy to break? Is a good lawyer and prenup non-existent? Would love to know a bit more about prenups?” It’s a great question!
SBS has been the subject of a great deal of media attention for the sacking of Scott McIntyre. SBS’s managing director, Michael Ebeid made the decision to sack Scott McIntyre immediately and without notice. This raises questions about whether the dismissal was fair and lawful.
When you’re negotiating a retail lease, striking the right balance between your needs and that of your tenant can be challenging. A well worded permitted use clause balances your desire to maintain effective control over the premises and how they’ll be used against the tenant’s need for the opportunity to grow and expand their business. Here are some of the facts to consider when negotiating yours.
A couple has an obligation to maintain each other, even after their relationship breaks down.
The likelihood of spousal maintenance being paid, and the extent of the payments, will vary depending on various factors – firstly, whether one party can actually afford to support the other, and to what extent.
Car parking spaces in crowded cities can be hard to come by which is why renting your own can be a smart economic decision. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a commercial car parking enterprise, or a private owner, you should document your arrangement in a Car Park Space Licence Agreement.
It’s pretty common these days to be on the receiving end of an extended warranty sales pitch whenever you purchase a TV, laptop, mobile, car or other item. But are extended warranties all they’re cracked up to be? Do you really need one?
It might seem very basic, but it is vital to get the names of the entities or “parties” correct when drafting a legal document. Stating the parties formally and accurately gives you certainty that there can be NO question about the parties’ intentions later, especially if the particulars are changed or forgotten. We look at the different types of “parties” and the correct way to record the information.
Teaming up with other investors is a smart way of entering the property market. We look at the fundamentals of property co-ownership and address the common questions.
Thanks to an increasingly flexible workplace, it seems like when it comes to employee contracts, almost anything goes. But It’s important to classify your employees correctly so that they receive all their entitlements under the law and you comply with the legislation.
Contemplating death is not a particularly happy subject but it is necessary if you want some control over how your loved ones will be cared for when you die or if you are incapacitated.
Affidavits are a particular type of document used to record information as evidence for matters being dealt with by a court. There are many different types of affidavit’s and you need to ensure that you complete the correct type for your particular matter.
De facto couples often wonder about the legal time limits that apply to their relationship, in particular those associated with making an application to the Court for a property settlement order. De facto couples do enjoy the same rights as married couples under Australian Law but those rights do not automatically apply.
Referral arrangements are an excellent way to build trust and authority in your business whilst boosting your bottom line. Drafting an effective Referral Service Agreements allows you to manage the quality and integrity of your referral relationship.
By signing, or in other words, executing a contract, you are indicating your agreement to the terms and conditions contained within the document and demonstrating your intention to be legally bound.
Many property investors rely on negative gearing but what would happen if it just wasn’t available anymore. John Edwards takes a good luck at what might happen. Read More.
Sometimes when a married or de facto relationship breaks down, the partners may need to keep living together under the one roof. We examine how the legislation treats such circumstances.
Tasmanian residential tenancy laws have been recently reformed, with most of the changes operational from the end of 2014. We take a look at the new rules for leasing residential property in Tassie.
Thinking of sprucing up your rented home over the Christmas break? Did you know that even something as simple as painting the walls requires your Landlord’s permission? Before you even start getting those colour charts out – check out the rules of what you can and can’t do to your rented house.
The Australian Franchising Code of Conduct is set to change on the 1 January 2015. Franchisors need to ensure their documentation complies with the new code.
If you are considering licensing your intellectual property as a means of bringing it to the market, then you need to think about and act on the key issues so you don’t make the most common IP mistakes.
Verbal agreements can be legally binding and in fact many business and personal transactions are conducted purely on a handshake. But if things go wrong, it can be very difficult to sort the matter out or to even prove the agreement existed. Read more.
Selling your business involves a range of steps. It doesn’t really matter whether you are using a broker or selling it yourself, you need to be aware of what is involved so you can take all the factors into consideration and get the best price for your hard work.
As of October 2014 the Fair Work Ombusdman will be targeting the Construction and Building Industry to discuss workplace issues like minimum wages, penalty rates and allowances, overtime and payslips and record keeping.
Many businesses prefer to use a recruitment agency to hire staff especially those in the Mining, IT, professional industries and Public sector. As with any contractor type arrangement it is always wise to set down the terms of the work clearly and unambiguously so each party understands their role.
It is a situation landlords hope they will never experience. Their tenant has stopped paying rent and they need to take action to mitigate the damage to their bottom line. We look at what the Landlord needs to do and more importantly how they should do it.
Moving in together is a big step. We look at the reasons why you might want to use a Cohabitation (Financial) Agreement and how to talk to your partner about it.
Are you thinking of renting out a room, clinic or office? You may not need a full Retail or Commercial Lease to cover your arrangement because a Shared Office Space or Licence Agreement may suit your needs.
Purchasing a large piece of machinery or equipment like a boat, yacht or aircraft can be expensive. But it may not be out of reach if you can team up with a group of like minded investors who share your dream. As with most ventures the best way to achieve success is by planning for it. We look at the issues that need to be considered when entering into a co-ownership arrangement.
Living together is a milestone in any relationship. But these days, because de facto couples have effectively the same rights and obligations as married couples under the Family Law Act – it’s not a decision that should be made without consideration to the financial implications. We look at a few of the reasons you might want to consider using a Financial Agreement.
Registering your relationship is an easy and inexpensive way to formalise your de facto status and formally express your commitment to each other. There are also a number of legal benefits for doing so.
Following changes to the Privacy Act, businesses are now under greater pressure to deal with, and dispose of, confidential information safely, both for their own protection and privacy, and that of their customers and staff members. Do you know how to keep sensitive data private and out of the hands of identity thieves?
Agisting horses is a great way to earn income from your acreage property especially if you love horses. To make the most of it, avoid these common pitfalls.
When we first bought this Legal Publishing business it was difficult to get over the notion that there was some special knowledge, secret handshakes or verified membership that we just didn’t have.
It can be especially challenging for small businesses to keep their operation running smoothly when staff take extended or excessive sick leave. How do you manage extended sick leave and what are your rights in dealing with excessive leave.
Lending money to friends or relatives can be a risky activity, especially when the terms are vague. Putting the arrangement in writing allows each party to know where they stand and stops potential problems.
Contemplating separation is never easy. It can be even more difficult when you don’t know your rights or the facts about how it will affect your future security.
As a general rule, people make a buying decision based on emotion and the purchase of a house is no different. Buyers need a story and emotion, they need to get excited about a house or feel something. We look at design tips to reach this goal so you can sell your house faster.
The A.C.T Government is considering a range of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 to achieve greater balance between the rights of landlords and tenants.
Money is a major source of conflict in personal relationships. Open and honest communication about financial goals and money habits is a useful strategy for minimising money arguments.
As an employer there are a number of issues to consider before asking an employee to work overtime.
Fraud and undue influence are two factors that may negate a person’s otherwise valid consent to a Binding Financial Agreement. We look at a couple of examples of how these factors contributed to agreements being overturned.
Check with the staff members Award or employment agreement to determine what you can and cannot do in relation to shifts and changes to those shifts.
A NEW Tenancy Complaint Service launched by Fair Trading in New South Wales helps landlords, property managers and tenants resolve disputes when communication between the parties has broken down.
The electronic age is throwing some interesting questions to the Court and prompting it to keep pace with modern culture. There have been a number of cases in Australia that have considered whether electronic or other non-paper forms of Will, are valid and enforceable.
If you own and operate a business with others, have you considered what might happen if one of your partners died or were otherwise incapacitated? A Buy Sell Agreement allows you to plan for such unexpected events so you can safeguard your future.
While we increasingly have the freedom to select (and de-select) a partner without fearing the repercussions of societal stigma, divorce is still one of the most traumatic experiences a person might ever face. Consider these 8 ideas that increase the chances of your marriage lasting?
It’s not unusual for partners to be unwilling at times to disclose all their personal financial information to the other party. However those feelings have to be put aside because it is a requirement of the law that each party to a financial agreement must make full and honest disclosure of all material matters.
Peter sent in a burning question asking if it is legal to allow a new retail tenant to occupy a shop on a month to month basis in Victoria?
Honesty between the Landlord and the tenant allows the tenant to make an informed choice about whether they will accept the lease.
Landlords are required by law to provide a prospective tenant with a summary or disclosure statement of all the important terms of the proposed lease. We look at the reasons why it has to be done this way.
Some people really know how to get themselves into strife. Let’s take the example of Brian who recently left his wife and set up a new de facto relationship with his mistress of 11 years.
Being flexible as an employer helps to foster an atmosphere of “give and take” in the workplace. We look at 10 reasons why you should consider offering employees flexible working arrangements.
A growing number of employers admit to accessing the Facebook profiles of job candidates to more intimately assess their application – is this a good idea?
Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 3% and this increase is effective from the first full pay period after 1 July 2014.
It’s taken several years to get all the documents together but we’ve finally done it. We’ve just launched our Property Investors Kit with a view to providing all of the documents you would need if you were prone to property investment.
A recent case in the Family Court set the precedent of allowing the Australian Tax Office (and other bodies) to access family court documents for purposes unrelated to the court proceedings such as tax audits and assessments.
Landlords need to follow the rules set down by legislation when communicating with tenants so they can successfully deal with issues. We outline the correct procedures that you should follow.
Whoever said “Ignorance is bliss” was not referring to being a Landlord. Landlords need to be informed and follow the rules set down by state legislation so they can deal with issues and tenants effectively.
We look at the factors that determine if you can take the peaceful path to property settlement if you are separating.
Many business people rely on referrals to grow their customer base or supplement their income. When your reputation rests on the actions of another it’s important to put a framework in place to ensure smooth progress. We look at the key issues to consider when handling referral arrangements.
Award rates increase on a regular basis, usually annually. You need to be aware of these increases so you can pay your employees correctly. This article covers info about rates increases and list useful tools to help you get employee payments right.
The FWO recent against an employer serves as a warning to all businesses to review their relationships with independent contractors. We look at the details of the case and explain the difference between employees and contractors.
Exit strategy clauses are like a fire a fire escape. They give you a way out of potentially damaging relationship or venture and just like in real life, your fire escape needs to be included when the building is planned and constructed. That is, you need to consider your exit strategy before you enter into the venture.
Learn about changes to the credit reporting system in Australia and how to check if your credit history has been affected.
In Australia, sick leave is covered as a type of “personal leave” in the National Employment Standards. Personal leave also includes carer’s leave and compassionate leave. This quick guide covers the essential facts that all employers should know about sick leave.
The FWC has made a decision that 20 year old employees working under the Retail Industry Award are now entitled to 100% of the adult wage rather than 90%.
In business, it is prudent to conduct targeted enquiries such as bankruptcy and company searches on the parties you are considering dealing with so you can make sure you are not exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.
Video explaining why a couple needs to get legal advice when entering into a Financial Agreement.
Is your business affected by the recent amendments to the national Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)? We outline the changes and who is affected.
Teaming up with family or friends to invest in property can be an astute financial move as long as you work out a plan for the potential pitfalls.
Family Law Courts place a high value on the contribution of the Stay-at-home parent or homemaker as shown by the recent case Elgin & Elgin, who separated after 49 years of marriage.
The tenancy regulations in NSW have been changed to prevent children falling from windows and balconies. <
A Social Media Policy is a document that outline’s your company’s guidelines for the use of Social Media. This Info graphic explains why all employers should implement a Social Media Policy to protect their business.
It’s not uncommon for couples to break up without taking care of the paperwork. But if you’ve accumulated assets together then delaying property settlement can be a costly mistake.
The ABC’s Checkout Program aired an excellent segment last night on the rights you have as a consumers rights when buying services, for example, plumbing, lawn mowing, cleaning, etc.
The government is set to remove the GST free status of farms and businesses sold as a going concern.
In Australia you can apply for a divorce if you have been separated for 12 months by lodging a divorce application form with the Family Court.
Many business leaders and HR professionals are overwhelmed by what is required to comply with the new Workplace Bullying laws. Workplace managers are increasingly expected to take greater responsibility for the management, education and prevention of workplace bullying.
Whilst selling an investment Property that is tenanted can be more problematic than selling an empty house, it can be done if you follow a few simple rules.
A good mortgage broker can be invaluable to your success in property investment so its pays to know how to choose the best one for your needs. We have a few tips that can help.
Usually, when transferring ownership of property, you will attract a hefty stamp duty bill – even if you are simply taking one partner’s name off the Title but you can avoid paying these fees if you use a Financial Agreement.
When terminating or dismissing an employee, you need to make sure you comply with legislation, namely the Fair Work Act, 2009 and the National Employment Standards.
In a recent case before the Fair Work Commission (FWC), Credit Corp Group’s adherence to the correct protocol for employee terminations made it easier for the FWC to conclude that the dismissal of Cameron Little was lawful. They followed this procedure.
Two recent court cases Bradford Pedley v IPMS Pty Ltd T/A peckvonhartel and Naiman Clarke Pty Ltd v Marianna Tucciahighlight the pitfalls of employers allowing employees to use social media without having clear guidelines in place.
Another recent case highlights the need for employers to tread very carefully when dealing with allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace – employee awarded $466,000 in compensation and damages.
A custody battle between a same sex couple over custody rights to their two children conceived by IVF, was decided just like any other custody dispute.
The Personal Property Securities Act 2009 has now been in existence for about three years and many a cautionary tale is coming to fore about the dangers of not registering security interests in the PPSR and not having robust supply agreements to cover supply of good sold on credit.
Spousal maintenance is the financial support provided to a party who is unable to adequately support themselves but it does not automatically apply. A couple making a financial agreement should include spousal maintenance (whether it is being paid or not) in order to avoid the issue being dealt with in court at a later date.
It’s common place when buying electrical goods to be offered an extended warranty by enthusiastic salespeople. Did you know that Australian consumers are automatically entitled to certain warranties or guarantees for goods or services purchased making extended warranties unnecessary?
The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is targeting and monitoring online reviews. It has found that some businesses engage in sub-optimal practices of posting their own fake reviews, or paying others to post online reviews, about their products and services.
Under the Fair Work Act, an employer cannot require an employee to spend their pay in relation to the performance of work, if the requirement is “unreasonable”.
A recent case in the Federal Circuit Court highlights the importance of employers acting on complaints of sexual harassment by their employees.
Natalie James, the Fair Work Ombudsman addressed the Australian Industry Group National Employment Conference on the 28th November 2013 and outlined the FWO’s plans for the future.
We look at the different types of transactions that require adherence to the PPSA.
It is necessary for the legal owner to register their interest in the goods on the PPS Register – having title to the goods is not enough, and ignorance is no excuse!
The PPS (Personal Property and Securities) Act works as a comprehensive code and framework governing securities taken over personal property. The manufacturing, wholesale and retail industries are most affected by these changes.
If you own a Commercial rental Property you can claim the following list of expenses as a tax deduction as long as the expenses were incurred during the period your property was rented or available for rent.
Once a relationship moves to the more serious phase of moving in together, then the more mundane practicalities of partnering up become important. Considering that money problems are the number one reason for relationship woes and breakups, it makes sense that a couple should learn to discuss finances.
For a landlord, a well worded permitted use definition allows you to maintain effective control over the premises and the way it will be used. You can make the permitted use as specific or as open as you wish.
In Part 1 we explained what an STD is and how they can occur, Part 2 looks at practical tips for avoiding them. The key tip is learning to communicate with your partner about financial matters and building trust before commingling finances.
The term “Sexually Transmitted Debt” is used to describe debt incurred by one party in a relationship on account of the other. Women are more likely than men to incur an STD. Sexually transmitted debt usually takes one of the following ..