Property Development

Property Development is high in demand and known to be a lucrative enterprise, when done right. It requires the careful navigation of experienced property lawyers through the complex regulations and legal requirements.

We can assist in providing legal advice on small-scale property projects to large-scale property developments, which may involve the preparation of master contracts, joint venture agreements and affiliated financial documents.

  • Providing advice on appropriate structures
  • Preparing joint venture agreements
  • Prepare development agreements
  • Understanding both direct and indirect tax
  • Understanding Planning Scheme requirements
  • Negotiating agreements with authority
  • Engaging Consultants e.g. surveyors, engineers, planners

Our property lawyers have 130 years of combined experience in property development and cover all legal bases. Let us help you realise your vision and call 03 5941 1622 for more information

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Frequently Asked Questions

Property Development/Joint Venture Agreements: What are they and should I have one?

A Property Development Agreement or a Joint Venture Agreement sets out the rights and obligations of two or more parties to a property development project.

It is not unusual on larger property development projects for the original landholder to provide the land for the project, and for a second or third party to provide the funds necessary to undertake the development. In undertaking such a project, it is essential to clarify from the commencement what the expectations of each party are, such as what will the share of the profit be following the conclusion of the project and how is this determined, and what will constitute expenses with respect to project and how will those expenses be applied.

A Property Development or Joint Venture Agreement will set out these issues, to minimise the possibility of a dispute arising between the parties, and to set out the steps that are required to be taken in the event of a dispute with the aim of avoiding complicated court proceedings and minimising costs.

Can I Develop? - Determining the Planning Restrictions

Whether the property you own is suitable to be developed will depend on the nature of the planning scheme in which the property is located.

Each local government has a Planning Scheme that sets limits on the type of use and development that can occur on properties, and the consequences of undertaking any of those uses of developments.

For example, there are restrictions on the ability to subdivide land within a Green Wedge Zone, and there are additional developments costs called contributions that are applicable to subdivisions of both a residential and industrial nature.

It is important to seek legal advice prior to making any development applications, to ensure that all potential barriers are identified and addressed in any application, and to ensure that any potential costs are forecast within the development plan and budget.

What Tax issues Should I Think About when Developing Property?

All developers must be conscious of the taxation implications that flow from both an agreement to develop land, and also the development of that land.

The federal tax consequences that must be addressed in a development revolve around capital gains tax implications for the sale of the land and goods and services tax issues. It is important that the structure proposed by any development agreement take into account these issues prior to the parties commencing the development process. The difference between good planning and poor planning can be catastrophic.

Likewise, a number of state based taxation issues arise prior to and through the development process. It is paramount that issues associated with the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution are considered prior to purchasing developable land or entering into a Development Agreement. It is also important that any applicable Land tax issues and stamp duty issues are identified early, to ensure that any exemptions arising out of the use of the Land can be utilised.

A good developer will always have solid planning and project management at the forefront of their mind, both prior to and during any development project. Duffy & Simon identify and address tax issues associated with land developments for clients, and work with land development teams throughout Victoria to appropriately structure the development in order to achieve the best results from land development projects.