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A "heated" property market is no excuse for rushing a purchase

Property Law News | April 2016

Non-residential purchases of property attract GST and other tax liabilities. Unwary buyers can overlook these additional costs, particularly where the purchase is an “impulse buy” or is the result of a rushed decision or where the purchase is at a public auction, and without time taken to obtain proper and professional advice.

In the recent case of SAMM Property Holdings Pty Ltd v Shayne Properties Pty Ltd [2016] NSWSC 362, the purchaser appointed an agent to bid on the Purchaser’s behalf at the auction of the property. The purchaser instructed the agent to bid to a certain level, the agent placed the bid for a price within the purchaser’s instructions, and the bid was successful.

The vendor claimed that the price was not inclusive of the requisite GST, and the vendor sought the additional amount of the GST from the purchaser. The court considered the conflicting evidence tendered by the parties regarding what was the “clear and common intention” of the parties prior to the auction bid being accepted. It decided in favour of the vendor, in respect of the purchase price being the amount of the purchaser’s bid plus GST. The moral of this story is to be careful in considering contracts for the purchase [and sale] of property and be clear on the terms and conditions which are contained in the contract.

Forum Law has extensive experience in preparing and advising on contracts for the sale and purchase of all types of property; residential and commercial and industrial. Our clients include private individuals buying or selling their home being a Torrens title, strata title or company title property, and commercial clients buying or selling their place of business, or investors buying and selling as individuals or businesses or trust funds as well as developers buying and selling to companies, joint ventures and partnerships.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the sale or purchase of any kind of real estate, give us a call for an obligation-free chat for up to 30 minutes on the phone or make a time to visit us in Leichhardt on (02) 9560 3388.


Forum Law is an active member of several reputable law and industry associations. We have recently obtained ISO9001 accreditation.