Mt Buller News

Great time to buy alpine property

- By DAN FLYNN, Partner at Whitelaw Flynn Lawyers

WITH the uncertaint­y and inability to travel internatio­nally, it has now become very attractive to buy a holiday home locally - stay close, go further.

Purchasing an apartment in the Mt Buller Alpine Resort can be a great lifestyle choice.

Buying an alpine apartment is different to the traditiona­l sale and purchase of freehold land, as all of Mt Buller is ‘Crown Land’ owned and controlled by the government.

The government often leases out Crown Land to companies (known as lessee companies) under long-term head leases.

When you purchase an alpine apartment within the head lease site, your ownership will (generally) consist of a sub-lease for that individual apartment, together with correspond­ing shares in the lessee company.

The sub-lease and shares are your ‘title’ to the apartment and in some cases, you may register that interest at the Land Titles Office.

Registered sub-leases are often more attractive to lenders.

The constituti­on of a lessee company governs the operation and management of buildings on the site.

As a shareholde­r, you will generally be entitled to participat­e in the management of the lessee company, attend annual general meetings, etc, in a similar manner as with owners’ corporatio­ns.

An alpine apartment will incur outgoings, such as common area electricit­y, general repairs, site rental, insurances and management fees, etc.

You should always request a copy of the lessee company’s annual budget for the site, a copy of any insurance certificat­es, and check what proportion of those fees and expenses are attributed to your apartment.

As well as a wonderful lifestyle choice, alpine apartments can be a good source of rental returns. Often, the constituti­on of lessee companies regulate how you may lease your apartment to holiday and seasonal tenants.

Some apartments have compulsory management and letting agreements, some allow for personal use only, and some will provide for a combinatio­n of both personal and holiday rentals.

If a compulsory management agreement is required, you should check for overall management fees, and whether these are inclusive of third-party agents and suppliers.

Another great incentive to buy an alpine apartment now is that a 50 per cent reduction in stamp duty may apply, where the contract of sale is entered into after January 1, 2021 and the property is made available for holiday rentals.

If purchasing a property in Mt Buller is something you are interested in, Whitelaw Flynn Lawyers is your first choice for assistance.

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