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Legal requirements for selling industrial or commercial properties in Melbourne

The commercial property market in Victoria is nuanced, requiring sellers to navigate the legal, environmental, and financial considerations involved.

This guide offers insights into zoning and planning, lease disclosures, and GST compliance, exploring the complexities of selling commercial real estate.

Confirm zoning and planning compliance

A foundational step in preparing your property for sale is confirming its alignment with local zoning and planning regulations. Make sure to disclose any discrepancies or breaches, as they can affect the property's marketability and legal standing. Ensuring your property adheres to these regulations and transparently communicating any issues to potential buyers is a must.

Disclose lease details

For properties under commercial or retail lease, full disclosure of the lease terms is mandatory. This aids potential buyers in assessing the investment's feasibility and any ongoing obligations they would inherit. Highlighting the specifics of tenancy agreements or licenses can mitigate future disputes.

Address environmental responsibilities

Environmental due diligence is required, especially when previous activities on the property might have led to contamination. Sellers are obligated to disclose any EPA-issued clean-up notices outlining the extent of contamination and remediation. This allows buyers to plan for any additional costs or clean-up efforts.

Consider GST implications

The GST position of the property sale, whether inclusive or exclusive of GST, should be explicitly outlined in the Contract to avoid any ambiguity. Accurately conveying your GST ensures compliance and financial clarity for both parties. Engaging with a property lawyer to navigate these implications is advisable to ensure that all tax responsibilities are clearly understood and addressed.

Your comprehensive checklist for selling commercial property

Our expert property lawyers have put together the following checklist to ensure compliance when selling commercial or industrial property:

  • Seek out legal advice
  • List fixtures and chattels
  • Provide land measurements
  • Inform about property access
  • Confirm restrictions and easements
  • Disclose any renovations and recent building work
  • Provide details of any lease agreements
  • Outline rates, taxes, and outgoings
  • Check zoning and town planning
  • Decide on auction or private sale
  • Check Certificate of Title
  • Consider capital gains tax.

When selling commercial property, prioritising these considerations not only streamlines the sale process but also enhances the property's appeal to informed buyers. By focusing on regulatory compliance, lease clarity, environmental responsibility, and financial transparency, sellers can facilitate smoother transactions and achieve the best outcomes.

Please note: The information covered in this guide is general and should never be substituted for professional legal advice. Contact us for further information.