Legal Updates

What constitutes a fixture – and who owns it?

An argument over medical equipment recently threw a spotlight on the sometimes blurred line between fixtures, chattels and ownership, and why these things should be articulated in a lease. The Facts Cortez Enterprises Pty Ltd (the Landlord) owned a substantial private medical centre. The centre contained a surgical hospital, a radiology and nuclear imaging service,…

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Major changes to the Magistrates’ Court Jurisdiction

South Australia’s litigation landscape changed significantly on 1 July 2013, with new amendments to the Jurisdictional limits in the Magistrates Court. The intent is to improve access to justice and to relieve the burden currently on the District Court, where trial dates are being secured 18 months to two years ahead. What has changed? With…

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First definitive PPSA case shows “true ownership” is not relevant

A recent Court decision confirms that title can be irrelevant under the Personal Properties Securities Act (PPSA). The first case to substantially consider the application of the PPSA has resulted in the owner of goods losing out. The proceedings involved competing claims to three construction vehicles in the Northern Territory. The Facts Queensland Excavation Services…

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Calling on a Bank Guarantee

A recent Victorian decision has further clarified when a Landlord can call on a bank guarantee – and it’s a good news story for Landlords. A lease of a commercial property had come to an end. A dispute arose as to whether the Tenant had properly made-good the premises and whether they were liable to…

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Avoid ambiguity when an option to renew is exercised

Ambiguity was at the heart of a recent Victorian ruling which considered the effectiveness – or otherwise – of a tenant’s notice to exercise an option to renew a lease. Background Prior to the expiry of a retail shop lease, the tenant wrote to the landlord’s agent, stating: “We write to advise you of our…

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National Site Contamination Assessment Guidelines Amended

The Standing Council of Environment and Water has officially approved an amendment to the National Environment Protection (Assessment of Site Contamination) Measure (ASC NEPM). The amendment, which was approved on 11 April 2013 supports the ASC NEPM’s aim to ‘provide adequate protection of human health and the environment, where site contamination has occurred, through the…

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On-selling Electricity – new laws commence

Landlords, do you on-sell electricity to your tenants?  Property managers, do you on-sell electricity to tenants on behalf of landlords? If you answer yes to one of these questions, laws commencing on 1 February 2013 place new requirements on you. What is happening? If you on-sell electricity to tenants, you will need to register with…

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Shall we BIM…

Building Information modelling (BIM) has been described as many things from: a tool to cut down on rework, improve productivity, and assist with clash deletion; to a minefield of liability. Whatever your view of BIM, it is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. By its nature, BIM is a collaborative process used…

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