Property Law

Property Law

The sale and purchase of real estate is a significant financial transaction and involves several legal steps and processes. Entering a contract to buy or sell property creates binding legal obligations and triggers strict timeframes with which the parties must comply. Whether you are a first home buyer, an investor, or selling your family home, we can help protect your interests and guide you through the entire process.

We offer competitive prices and can assist with:

  • Preparation of contracts for the purchase or sale of property
  • Reviewing contracts and negotiating terms and conditions
  • Property settlement

Conveyancing in Western Australia

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring the legal title of property from one party to another. In Western Australia, conveyancing involves a series of tasks and legal obligations to ensure that property transactions are conducted smoothly and in compliance with the law.

Using an experienced property and conveyancing lawyer to handle the legal aspects of your property transaction helps to ensure that the necessary due diligence and steps are taken to complete the transaction correctly.


Most properties in Western Australia are sold through an offer and acceptance process. A buyer makes a formal offer in writing to buy a property by preparing an Offer and Acceptance (O&A) contract. The O&A outlines the terms and conditions of the transaction, including the purchase price, deposit, settlement date, and any special conditions.

It is advisable to seek legal advice and conduct thorough due diligence before signing the contract to ensure that all necessary information and obligations are properly addressed. The seller (or vendor) can either make a counteroffer, reject the offer, or accept it and communicate that acceptance to the buyer.


Conducting property searches is a critical step in the conveyancing process. Searches are conducted to identify any potential issues or encumbrances that may affect the property, such as easements, caveats, or outstanding rates. Common searches include title searches, land tax searches, and local authority searches. These searches help ensure that the property is free from any undisclosed interests or liabilities.

Transfer Duty

Calculating and paying transfer duty is a key aspect of conveyancing. Stamp duty is a state tax imposed on the transfer of property ownership. The amount of stamp duty payable varies depending on the purchase price and the nature of the transaction. Buyers are responsible for paying stamp duty, and it is important to factor this cost into the overall budget when purchasing a property.


The settlement process is the final stage of conveyancing, where the legal transfer of property ownership takes place. Settlement involves the exchange of legal documents, payment of the purchase price, and registration of the transfer of ownership. It is crucial to ensure that all necessary funds are available for settlement and that the necessary paperwork is properly executed. During the conveyancing process, your lawyer will liaise with your lender regarding the available funds for settlement (if you are buying) or the discharge of any existing mortgage (if you are selling). They will also assist in the calculation and payment of any adjustments in the purchase price, such as rates and strata levies.

Property Ownership Interests

The way that legal interests are held in property between co-owners is an important consideration. If you are buying a property with somebody else, you will need to determine whether you want to hold the property as joint tenants or tenants in common.

When you hold property as joint tenants, the interests are held as a whole and cannot be separately apportioned. Joint tenancy is subject to the rules of survivorship. If a co-owner dies, their share passes to the remaining owner/s.

Property held as tenants in common can specify a defined share in the property held by each owner which need not be equal and may be transferred, sold, or left to a beneficiary in a Will.

Other Property Transfers

We can also assist with non-traditional property transactions where interests in real estate are transferred or acquired without the usual buy/sell arrangements. These types of transactions might occur when an owner or co-owner of real estate dies, or when a relationship breaks down and the parties have reached a property settlement or court orders have been made. Shares in property may also be transferred where property is gifted to children or other family members.

We can prepare the necessary documents for the assessment of transfer duty (or duty concession, if relevant) and lodge the documentation for registration. It is important to understand the duty, financial, and taxation implications of transferring interests in property and you may also want to consult your accountant for advice on your proposed transfer.

If you need assistance, contact [email protected] or call 08 9221 6820 for expert legal advice.