Additional Cost Line Items

Additional costs are charged where a client instructs us to provide a service or to make enquiries or to undertake a task that is not included in our fixed-fee. We do not charge additional costs where we act on our own initiative to make enquiries, follow-up etc. as part of our matter management.

Rule of thumb on additional costs

Our fixed-fee includes the cost of conveyancing work as well as any collateral tasks we regard as necessary to complete a conveyancing transaction. If a matter proceeds without any specific requests from the client, then there will be no additional costs. However, if the client requests us to do something then the request is likely to generate additional costs. This also applies if something happens and we have to ask the client for instructions as to how the client wants the issue dealt with. The instructions the client gives us are likely to generate additional costs. The list below includes examples of unsolicited requests for additional services, as well as instructions given in response to legal advice.

When you receive a costs update from us it will refer to the service charged for. By necessity, the descriptions of services appearing in your costs update email are brief, and so we have set out further details of the legal work or tasks undertaken as part of the additional service provided.

Additional costs are also fixed and reduced

In the descriptions below we set out the charges applicable as per the the Practitioner Remuneration Order*, so that you can confirm that our costs remain well below the industry standard.

*The costs below have been calculated on the Practitioner Remuneration Order as at 1 January, 2017

01. Attendance, task or service @ NO CHARGE
02. Caveat – Preparation and lodging of caveat
03. Caveat – Land Titles Office caveat registration fee
04. Client Enquiry – Other side – General enquiry upon client instructions
05. Client Enquiry – Estate agent – General enquiry upon client instructions
06. Client Enquiry – Lender – General enquiry upon client instructions
07. Client Enquiry – Owners corporation – General enquiry upon client instructions
08. Client Enquiry – Other – General enquiry upon client instructions
09. Deposit payment extension request and update
10. Corporation – Vendor company – ASIC search and drafting of attestation clause
11. Corporation – Purchaser company – ASIC search and drafting of attestation clause
12. Follow-up – Client instructions to enquire on progress of a task or matter and to provide feedback
13. Legal Advice – Legal advice on specific non-standard issue provided by Principal Lawyer upon client’s request
14. Licence Agreement – Arranging execution of Licence Agreement prepared by other party
15. Licence Agreement – Drafting and arranging execution of Licence Agreement
16. Loan condition extension request and update
17. Name change post-contract – Updating sale documents with name change post contract
18. Negotiations – Ongoing communications on client’s behalf per specific instructions
19. Nomination – Preparation, execution and submission of nomination documents
20. Other – Attendance, task or service not specifically listed
21. Owners corporation certificate
22. Owners corporation certificate 2nd or subsequent certificate
23. Power of Attorney – Drafting and arranging execution of general power of attorney
24. Settlement failure – Rearranging of settlement after settlement failed to proceed on due date
25. Settlement – Stamping and lodging of registrable documents through GlobalX
26.Transmission Application – Preparation and submission of Application by Legal Personal Representative
27. Transmission Application – Preparation and submission of Application by Surviving Proprietor
28. Trust account – Holding of deposit as stakeholder
29. Trust account – Holding of settlement funds for disbursement at settlement
30. Variation to contract

01. Attendance, task or service @ NO CHARGE

While we must conduct business in a business-like manner and ensure that additional costs are charged where appropriate, we may not always charge for each and every non-standard task or service in a particular matter. There is no formula used to determine when a “NO CHARGE” will apply, and the decision will be made according to the nature of the task/service and the time/effort associated with it. For example, if a client requires two General Powers of Attorney and we find that we can prepare the two in the time that it would take to prepare one, then the second may be prepared at NO CHARGE.

If this discretion is exercised, then instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, the task or service will be billed as NO CHARGE.

02. Caveat – Preparation and lodging of caveat

The preparation of a caveat involves the obtaining of the client’s instructions, confirming the client’s right to lodge a caveat to ensure that there is a genuine caveatable interest, preparing the registrable document, arrangement payment of the registration fee, lodging for registration, and confirm to the client that their instructions have been fulfilled.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the lodging of caveat includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), response to client confirming receipt of instructions and advising on caveatable interest @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), drawing of the caveat @ $20.80 (Item 2(c) of the PRO), lodging of the caveat @ $62.00 (Item 11 of the PRO), and confirming back to the client by email that the caveat has been lodged as instructed @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $208.40

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

03. Caveat – Land Titles Office caveat registration fee

This is simply the Land Titles Office registration fee, which we have paid on your behalf.

The current fee charged by the Land Titles Office is $56.43 plus GST.

04. Client Enquiry – Other side – General enquiry upon client instructions

We do not charge for enquiries we make on behalf of a client of our own initiative, as these are regarded as part of the standard conveyancing transaction. However, where a client is seeking information for their own personal purposes we must charge additional costs.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the making of an enquiry on the client’s personal behalf (i.e. not for our purposes as part of the conveyancing transaction) includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), sending an email to the relevant party @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), receiving a response by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $201.60

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

05. Client Enquiry – Estate agent – General enquiry upon client instructions

The real estate agent is not a party to the conveyancing transaction, and so we minimise our contact with estate agents generally. However, if we feel that it is necessary to communicate with, or otherwise follow up with the estate agent for the purpose of expediting the conveyancing transaction we will do so as part of our fixed-conveyancing service. Where a client instructs us to communicate with the estate agent for the client’s own purposes, then we must charge additional costs.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the making of an enquiry on the client’s personal behalf (i.e. not for our purposes as part of the conveyancing transaction) includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), sending an email to the relevant party @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), receiving a response by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $201.60

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

06. Client Enquiry – Lender – General enquiry upon client instructions

We do not charge for enquiries we make on behalf of a client of our own initiative, as these are regarded as part of the standard conveyancing transaction. However, where a client is seeking information for their own personal purposes we must charge additional costs.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the making of an enquiry on the client’s personal behalf (i.e. not for our purposes as part of the conveyancing transaction) includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), sending an email to the lender @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), receiving a response by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $201.60

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

07. Client Enquiry – Owners corporation – General enquiry upon client instructions

Owners corporations often appoint management companies to maintain common proper and to manage the owners corporation generally where the property is part of a unit development. There are certain enquiries that we may undertake in relation to the owners corporation, and we regard these as part of the conveyancing transaction. We do not charge additional costs for communications we initiate for our own purposes. Occasionally a client may instruct us to make enquiries with the owners corporation on their behalf, for the client’s own personal purposes. In these cases we must charge additional costs.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the making of an enquiry on the client’s personal behalf (i.e. not for our purposes as part of the conveyancing transaction) includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), sending an email to the relevant party @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), receiving a response by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $201.60

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

08. Client Enquiry – Other – General enquiry upon client instructions

We can’t anticipate all of the enquiries that a client may want to make, or the parties that a client may wish to contact between the day of sale and the day of settlement. Where we see a need to communicate with parties that may somehow be related or be affected by the conveyancing transaction, we will included the cost our doing so as part of our fixed-fee. However, where a client instructs us to make enquiries with other parties for the client’s own personal purposes, we must charge additional costs.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the making of an enquiry on the client’s personal behalf (i.e. not for our purposes as part of the conveyancing transaction) includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), sending an email to the relevant party @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), receiving a response by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $201.60

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

09. Deposit payment extension request and update

Where the contract states that the full deposit is payable by a specified date, we assume that the deposit payment date was chosen so as to allow sufficient time for the client to pay the deposit before the deadline expires.

However, a client may not have allowed sufficient time for the deposit funds to be available for payment, or there may be other difficulties in obtaining the deposit funds by the due date. In such circumstances the client may request that we negotiate an extension of the deposit payment date in order to avoid being in breach of the contract.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with negotiating an extension of the deposit payment period includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), sending an email to the relevant party @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), receiving a response by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $201.60

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

10. Corporation – Vendor company – ASIC search and drafting of attestation clause

We cannot anticipate whether or not a vendor company has been correctly identified in a Contract of Sale, and it is not something that can be taken for granted. A corporation search must be undertaken through ASIC whenever there is a conveyancing transaction involving a corporation that is registered on title as having an interest in the property. Because it is an unusual scenario, we cannot include and ASIC search in our fixed-fee conveyancing costs, and so this is charged as an additional reimbursement item.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the obtaining of a corporation search include an examination of the sale documents, the status of the parties involved and an investigation into the nature and interest of any corporation indicated @ $220.00 (Item 1 of the PRO), searching of the register and obtaining of appropriate certificate @ $77.00 (Item 15 PRO) = $297 + purchase price of certificate.

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00 (this includes the cost of the certificate).

11. Corporation – Purchaser company – ASIC search and drafting of attestation clause

We cannot anticipate whether or not a purchaser will be proceeding with a purchase in their own name, in the name of a company, or in the name of a trust. Nor can we be sure that a purchaser company has been correctly identified in a Contract of Sale; and it is not something that we can take for granted. A company search must be undertaken through ASIC whenever there is a conveyancing transaction involving a corporation that is to be registered on title as owner of the property. Because it is an unusual scenario, we cannot include and ASIC search in our fixed-fee conveyancing costs, and so this is charged as an additional reimbursement item.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the obtaining of a corporation search include an examination of the sale documents, the status of the parties involved and an investigation into the nature and interest of any corporation indicated @ $220.00 (Item 1 of the PRO), searching of the register and obtaining of appropriate certificate @ $77.00 (Item 15 PRO) = $297 + purchase price of certificate.

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00 (this includes the cost of the certificate).

12. Follow-up – Client instructions to enquire on progress of a task or matter and to provide feedback

From time to time a client may become anxious about something, and ask us to “follow-up” for them. Examples of follow-up requests include instruction similar to the following:

“The estate agent told me that vendors would be repairing the fence, but I haven’t heard anything about it. Can you follow-up with the agent for me please.”

“I’m buying off-the-plan and registration seems to be taking too long. Can you get an update on the progress of the subdivision for me please.”

“We asked the vendors if we can move into the property before settlement, but we haven’t heard from them yet. Can you chase them up please.”

“My bank still isn’t ready for settlement, can you find out what’s going on with them and get back to me please.”

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the making of an enquiry on the client’s personal behalf (i.e. not for our purposes as part of the conveyancing transaction) includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), sending an email to the relevant party @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), receiving a response by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $201.60

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

13. Legal Advice – Legal advice on specific non-standard issue provided by Principal Lawyer upon client’s request

From time to time a client may become anxious about an issue that is not part of the conveyancing process, and request specific legal advice. It is impossible for us to anticipate every side issue that may arise, and we cannot include legal advice (and the responsibility involved in providing such legal advice) in our fixed-fee.

Some examples we have dealt with in recent times include the following:


“The estate agent lied to us about the garage not having asbestos in the walls, and now we have found out that it is full of asbestos. Can we sue the estate agent for cost of having the asbestos removed?”

“We bought the house with vacant possession, but the vendor’s son is living there and he has told the estate agent that he is not moving out because his parents didn’t tell him that the property was being sold. We need to move in or we’ll have nowhere to live. What are our options?”

“There is an antique plough that is the main feature in the front yard and we thought we were buying it with the property even though it’s not mentioned in the contract. The estate agent has told us that the vendor is going to take it unless we agree to pay another $5,000 for it. Can they do this?”

“My bank approved my home loan when I bought off-the-plan a year ago, but that settlement is coming up the bank says the value of the property has reduced and my loan approval has expired. What can I do if the bank won’t re-approve my loan?”

“I did my final inspection and found that the vendor has removed the entire security system that was hard-wired into the house, leaving holes in the walls and other damage. Can we force them to re-install the system or to reimburse us?”

NOTE: In these examples it was possible to provide quick, but well-considered legal advice on the options available to the client based on the knowledge and experience of our property lawyer. Legal advice of this nature can be dealt with on the basis of a fixed-fee, determine as outline below. It must be understood however, that in many cases it may be necessary to arrange an appointment to discuss the full extent of the legal issues and that this is beyond the scope of fixed-fee options.

Where quick legal advice as to general legal principles applicable to a given set of circumstances is required, we will apply this fixed-fee line item.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with providing legal advice as requested upon the client’s personal behalf (i.e. not for our purposes as part of the conveyancing transaction) includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), attending on the client to take further instructions and discuss options @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $208.10

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $175.00.

14. Licence Agreement – arranging execution of Licence Agreement prepared by other party

Sometimes a purchaser may wish to take occupation of the property before settlement, or a vendor may wish to remain in possession of the property after settlement. In such circumstances a Licence Agreement may be negotiated through us, prepared by the other party’s legal representative and forwarded to us to arrange execution. Negotiating and arranging the execution of a Licence Agreement is not a normal part of a conveyancing transaction, and we charge additional costs for this service.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with preparing and exchanging a Licence Agreement includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), attending on the client to take further instructions and discuss the terms of the Licence Agreement @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), negotiating and confirming the terms of the Licence Agreement with the other party’s legal representative @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), receiving the Licence Agreement from the other party’s legal representative @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of email @ $12.90, forwarding the Licence Agreement to the client for execution @ $34.00 (Item 8 of the PRO), receiving the executed Licence Agreement from the client by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), forwarding the Licence Agreement to the other party’s legal representative @ $34.00, confirming to the client that the Licence Agreement has been executed by all parties and is effective @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $411.40

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $220.00.

15. Licence Agreement – drafting and arranging execution of Licence Agreement

Sometimes a purchaser may wish to take occupation of the property before settlement, or a vendor may wish to remain in possession of the property after settlement. In such circumstances a Licence Agreement may have to be prepared. The preparation of a Licence Agreement is not a normal part of a conveyancing transaction, and we charge additional costs for preparing and exchanging a Licence Agreement.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with preparing and exchanging a Licence Agreement includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), attending on the client to take further instructions and discuss the terms of the Licence Agreement @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), negotiating and confirming the terms of the Licence Agreement with the other party’s legal representative @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), drawing of the Licence Agreement requiring 6 folios @ $27.00 per folio totaling $162.00 (Item 2 of the PRO), forwarding the Licence Agreement to the client for execution @ $34.00 (Item 8 of the PRO), receiving the executed Licence Agreement from the client by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), forwarding the Licence Agreement to the other party’s legal representative for counter-signing @ $34.00, confirming to the client that the Licence Agreement has been executed by all parties and is effective @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $547.00

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $440.00.

16. Loan condition extension request and update

Where a purchase is made “subject to loan approval” we assume that the loan approval date was chosen so as to allow sufficient time for the client’s lender to provide unconditional loan approval before the deadline expires. When the deadline expires, the contract is automatically unconditional, and the matter simply proceeds to settlement. Alternatively, if the client cannot obtain the required home loan, the contract will be cancelled and the matter will be closed. These circumstances are provided for in the General Conditions of the contract.

However, a client may not have allowed sufficient time for the their lender to approve the home loan, or the lender may be slow in providing unconditional approval. In such circumstances the client may request that we negotiate an extension of the loan approval date in order to avoid having the contract automatically become unconditional, or being forced to cancel the contract.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with negotiating an extension of the loan approval period includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), sending an email to the relevant party @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), receiving a response by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $201.60

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

17. Name change post contract – updating sale documents with name change post contract

Where a party’s name has been entered into the sale documents but it is later discovered that the name is incorrect or incomplete it will be necessary to have an array of related documents altered, to alert all parties to the transaction that the name must be amended, and to ensure that settlement is not jeopardised due to the name change. Often a Statutory Declaration is require to rectify the situation, but in any case it becomes necessary to communicate with other parties to the transaction and to monitor all documents generated by the various parties.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with amending names post contract includes the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), examining the relevant documents and investigating the extent to which correction and updating is required @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), drawing Statutory Declaration confirming correct name @ $34.00 per folio x 2 folios totaling $68.00, sending Statutory Declaration to client for execution with advise and directions @ $49.60, receiving of executed Statutory Declaration and checking same @ $52.20, sending an email to the relevant parties @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) x 3 totaling $148.80, receiving confirmation responses from other parties by email @ $13.50 x 3 totaling $40.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO) x 3 totaling 38.70, and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $605.90

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $220.00.

18. Negotiations – ongoing communications on client’s behalf per specific instructions

Sometimes a client enquiry may “blow-out” into a lengthy negotiation, involving numerous emails, ongoing attendances and legal advice. This usually occurs where the client is in dispute with another party involved in the transaction. Negotiating and advising regarding disputes, where the client wishes to pursue or defend the dispute, is not part of a normal conveyancing transaction. Where a dispute or other matter arises and the clients instructs us to pursue or defend that matter on the client’s behalf, we will attempt to limit costs by “bundling” the matter into a single line item. Costs will be capped at $660.00, so long as the total costs chargeable under the PRO do not exceed $1,100.00. The following example provides insight into how a dispute can escalate and increase legal costs.

The Contract of Sale included a building inspection condition, and the building inspection disclosed that the dwelling required re-stumping at a cost of $5,000. The purchaser did not want to end the contract, and sought to have the purchase price reduced by $5,000 so that she could apply this amount to the cost of restumping after settlement. The vendor responded by saying that he could have the restumping completed before settlement at a lower cost, and asked that the purchaser not cancel the contract, but to proceed on the basis that the restumping would be completed in time for the final inspection before settlement. At the final inspection it was discovered that only half of the restumping job had been completed. After some negotiation the parties agreed that the purchase price would be reduced by $2,500 and that the purchaser would assume responsibility for completion of the restumping works.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with our dealing with this matter would include the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), attending on the client to take further instructions and discuss the nature of the matter/dispute, including initial legal advice @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), email to the other party’s legal representative to convey our client’s instructions @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), negotiating and determining the position of the other party that party’s legal representative @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), forwarding the other party’s response to the client for consideration and further instructions, together with our legal advice @ $49.60 (Item 8 of the PRO) and @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), receiving further instructions from the client by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), advising the other party’s legal representative of our further instructions @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO). Shortly before settlement, and as a matter of urgency, receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), attending on the client to take further instructions and discuss the nature of the matter/dispute, including initial legal advice @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), email to the other party’s legal representative to convey our client’s instructions @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), negotiating and determining the position of the other party that party’s legal representative @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), forwarding the other party’s response to the client for consideration and further instructions, together with our legal advice @ $49.60 (Item 8 of the PRO) and @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), receiving further instructions from the client by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), advising the other party’s legal representative of our further instructions @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO). confirming to the client that the Licence Agreement has been executed by all parties and is effective @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $1,047.00

If the total costs as per the PRO were less than $660.00 we would use a different line item. However, when costed on a PRO basis, the total in this example is excess of $660, but less than $1,100.00. Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we would charge a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $660.00.

19. Nomination – preparation, execution and submission of nomination documents

Nomination is something that cannot be anticipated in conveyancing transactions as it is a non-standard changing of the transaction that can take place at any time between sale and settlement. Accordingly, nomination is not included in our fixed-fee and attracts additional costs.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with the nomination of additional or substitute purchaser(s) include the receiving of instructions and nominee details by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), drawing of nomination documents @ $20.80 per folio x 7 folios totaling $145.60 (Item 2 of the PRO), sending nomination documents to client for execution @ $34.00, (Item 8 of the PRO), receiving executed documents from client @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusing the response @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), advising other party’s legal representative of nomination and providing copy of nomination documents @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $402.00

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $110.00.

20. Other – Attendance, task or service not specifically listed

Where a non-standard attendance, task or service is requested by a client and it is not of a type listed on this page, we will have to customise accordingly. In all cases, where an additional attendance, task or service is requested we will determine the costs as per the PRO, and then discount the total in order to present it as a fixed-fee.

21. Owners corporation certificate

We cannot anticipate whether a property is affected by an owners corporation, or the number of owners corporations affecting the one property. Nor can we anticipate whether an owners corporation will be a functioning or inactive owners corporation. It is therefore not possible to include the purchase cost of an owners corporation certificate in our fixed-fee. If an owners corporation is functioning and it charges a fee for issuing its owners corporation certification, this cost must be added to our fixed-fee.

We charge only the out-of-pocket cost of purchasing an owners corporation, which legislation has fixed at $158.67 per certificate. $158.67

22. Owners corporation certificate 2nd or subsequent certificate

Where there is more than one owners corporation affecting a property and it is necessary to purchase further owners corporation certificates, the second and subsequent certificates are at a reduced cost.

We charge only the out-of-pocket cost of purchasing an owners corporation, which legislation has fixed at $91.92 per certificate. $91.92

23. Power of Attorney – Drafting and arranging execution of general power of attorney

Sometimes a purchaser may need to appoint someone else to act for them in relation to a matter or to a specific part of the matter, requiring the preparation of a General Power of Attorney. The preparation of a General Power of Attorney is not a normal part of a conveyancing transaction, and we charge additional costs for preparing and delivering the General Power of Attorney to relevant parties.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with preparing a General Power of Attorney include the receiving of instructions by email @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), attending on the client to take further instructions and discuss the terms of the Licence Agreement @ $82.50 per quarter hour or part thereof (Item 17 of the PRO), drawing of the Power of Attorney requiring 2 folios @ $27.00 per folio totaling $54.00 (Item 2 of the PRO), forwarding the General Power of Attorney to the client for execution @ $34.00 (Item 8 of the PRO), receiving the executed General Power of Attorney from the client @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal to check correct execution @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), preparing a certified copy of the General Power of Attorney for use by the other party’s legal representative @ $52.20 (Item 18 of the PRO), forwarding the certified copy General Power of Attorney to the other party’s legal representative @ $34.00, confirming to the client that the General Power of Attorney has been executed by all parties and is effective @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $408.70

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $220.00.

24. Settlement failure – Rearranging of settlement after settlement failed to proceed on due date

When settlement fails to take place at the appointed time on the appointed date it becomes necessary to negotiate fresh settlement arrangements. The costs associated with a settlement failure and the negotiating of new settlement arrangements is not included in our fixed-fee, nor is the cost of our appointing a settlement agent for a subsequent settlement attempt.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with re-negotiating settlement includes receiving advice of settlement failure from our settlement agency @ $60.60 (Item 17 of the PRO taking into account the urgency of the situation), advising the client of settlement failure by telephone to explain the reason and to seek further instructions @ $60.60 (Item 17 of the PRO taking into account the urgency of the situation), negotiations with the other party’s legal representative by telephone @ 60.60 (Item 17 of the PRO taking into account the urgency of the situation), negotiations with the client’s lender (where applicable) by telephone @ 60.60 (Item 17 of the PRO taking into account the urgency of the situation), confirming new settlement arrangements with client by email @ 49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), re-attendance at settlement @ $88.00 (Item 16 of the PRO), and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) when settlement has taken place @ $49.60 = $479.20

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $220.00.

25. Settlement – Stamping and lodging of registrable documents through GlobalX

The industry norm is for settlement to be attended by an agency acting for the client’s lender, with the lender then attending to the stamping and lodging of registrable documents collected at settlement. Alternatively, if there is no lender involved, electronic settlement allows for automatice electronic payment of stamp duty and lodging and registration of title documents.

We cannot anticipate the role of a lender in a conveyancing transaction, or whether other parties are prepared to have settlement effected electronically. Consequently, we do not include the cost of arranging for a CBD agency to attend to the physical post-settlement stamping and lodging of registrable documents in our fixed-fee.

Where it is necessary to engage a CBD agency to attend to the physical stamping and lodging of registrable documents post-settlement we charge only the out-of-pocket cost charged by the agency plus GST, which is currently $71.50 per attendance $71.50

26. Transmission Application – Preparation and submission of Application by Legal Personal Representative

Where it becomes necessary to arrange for the name of a deceased person to be removed from a certificate of title and replaced by their legal personal representative, a process known as a “transmission application” is required. The preparation and submission of a transmission application is not included in our fixed-fee.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with processing of a transmission application in the case of an Application by Legal Personal Representative are $314.30 (Item 267 of the PRO).

We charge the all inclusive PRO cost of $314.30.

27. Transmission Application – Preparation and submission of Application by Surviving Proprietor

Where a property is jointly owned, and it becomes necessary to arrange for the name of a deceased person to be removed from a certificate of title, leaving the survivor as sole proprietor, a process known as a “transmission application” is required. The preparation and submission of a transmission application is not included in our fixed-fee.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with processing of a transmission application in the case of an Application by Surviving Proprietor are $348.60 (Item 267 of the PRO).

We charge the all inclusive PRO cost of $348.60.

28. Trust account – Holding of deposit as stakeholder

The normal procedure in real estate sales and purchases is for a real estate agency to hold the deposit in trust for both parties to the transaction. Most real estate agents insist on holding the deposit, as doing so allows them to deduct the sale commission before it falls into the hands of the vendor. Similarly, where there is a lender involved, the lender will hold all funds on behalf of the purchaser and pay these funds to the relevant parties at settlement. We cannot anticipate occasions where a client may require the use of our trust account to hold deposit funds, or to hold settlement funds, and so we do not include this service in our fixed-fee.

The cost for using our trust account is not determined according to the PRO. We have set our fee of $220 as taking into account the time and effort associated with the taking of instructions regarding the funds to be held in trust and how they are to be dealt with, the creation of a client trust account ledger and associated bookkeeping requirements, personal attendance at bank as required, regulatory requirements such as payment and withdrawal of trust funds by way of statutory deposit, auditing requirements, disbursement and delivery of funds according to client instructions, and final accounting to the client upon closing of the trust account transaction.

Our fixed-fee for use of our trust account, inclusive of GST, is $220.00.

29. Trust account – Holding of settlement funds for disbursement at settlement

The normal procedure in real estate sales and purchases is the client’s lender to hold the balance of purchase funds in the client’s bank account, and to attend settlement with the required cheques. Alternatively, if no lender is involved, the client will hold the funds in their own savings account and provide us with bank cheques either the day before settlement or delivered to the settlement venue. Sometimes a client may request the use of our trust account, and to have us draw and deliver the required bank cheques, or to arrange an electronic funds transfer in the case of an electronic settlement. We cannot anticipate occasions where a client may require the use of our trust account to hold settlement funds, and so we do not include this service in our fixed-fee.

The cost for using our trust account is not determined according to the PRO. We have set our fee of $220 as taking into account the time and effort associated with the taking of instructions regarding the funds to be held in trust and how they are to be dealt with, the creation of a client trust account ledger and associated bookkeeping requirements, personal attendance at bank as required, regulatory requirements such as payment and withdrawal of trust funds by way of statutory deposit, auditing requirements, disbursement and delivery of funds according to client instructions, and final accounting to the client upon closing of the trust account transaction.

Our fixed-fee for use of our trust account, inclusive of GST, is $220.00.

30. Variation to contract

Changing the contract is a very serious matter. It involves having both parties agree to the variation in writing, with the written variation being signed by both parties in order to give it legal effect. This is because the ancient Statute of Frauds (and legislation passed to continue its effect) required that an agreement relating to the sale of land could not be enforced unless signed by the person against whom it is to be enforced. To save some of the time an risk associated with contract variations, we use a specific Variation to Contract form.

According to the Practitioner Remuneration Order, the costs associated with varying a contract of sale include the receiving of instructions and nominee details by email (usually enclosing a completed Variation to Contract form) @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), sending a reply to the client to confirm receipt of instructions and acting on them @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), advising other party’s legal representative of nomination and providing copy of the proposed Variation to Contract @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO), receiving the executed Variation to Contract form from the other party’s legal representative and checking correct execution @ $13.50 (Item 5 of the PRO), perusal of instructions @ $12.90 (Item 6 of the PRO), making required changes to matter management systems @ $52.20 (Item 18 of the PRO), notifying other parties to confirm the variation @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) x 3 totaling $148.80, and providing feedback, update or advice to the client by email @ $49.60 (Item 10 of the PRO) = $402.60

Instead of charging the full costs as per the PRO, we have set a lower fixed-fee, inclusive of GST of $220.00.

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