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Rural Property

The processes and risks associated with purchasing a rural property are different to those purchases in residential areas.

Intergenerational Transfers

The introduction of the stamp duty exemption in 1994 transformed the landscape for intergenerational transfer of farm assets, providing families with new flexibility in Succession Planning and offering a tangible strategy for future planning.

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, our skilled team has helped numerous families utilise this exemption to pass on the family farm to the next generation. This transition not only offers retirement opportunities for the older generation but also injects fresh energy into our local communities by empowering young farmers.

Comprehensive Rural Legal Services

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, our experienced team specializes in advising and assisting clients on a wide range of rural issues.

Farm Debt Mediation

We assist clients with matters arising under the Farm Debt Mediation Act 1994. Our services include preparing necessary documentation, developing strategies to address issues, attending mediation sessions, and liaising with the Rural Assistance Authority to ensure our clients’ interests are well-represented.

Boundary and Dividing Fence Disputes

Our team is adept at handling disputes between neighbors involving boundary and dividing fences. We help identify key issues, mediate disputes, represent clients in local courts or tribunals, and advocate on their behalf to achieve favorable outcomes.

Applications to Close and Purchase Crown Lands

We also assist clients with applications to close and purchase Crown Lands. Our services include completing application forms, making submissions for price reductions due to environmental features, and liaising with the Department of Trade and Investment – Crown Lands to facilitate smooth transactions.

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, we are committed to providing thorough and effective legal support for all your rural needs

Water Law Expertise

The Water Management Act 2000 (NSW), introduced in stages from 1 July 2004, brought significant changes that have shaped water management practices across various states. The subsequent Water Management Amendment Act 2014 further revised aspects of water management, including planning, licensing, and compliance.

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, our team is well-versed in all facets of the evolving Water Law landscape. We provide comprehensive services, including:

✔️Issuance and application of Water Access Licences;

✔️Purchase and sale of Water Access Licences;

✔️Assignment of share components in Water Access Licences, both permanently and annually;

✔️Consolidations and modifications to Water Access Licences;

✔️Liaison with Land and Property Information, NSW Office of Water, and other relevant government departments.

Our expertise ensures that you are well-informed and supported in navigating the complexities of Water Law.

Compensation Claims for Compulsory Land Acquisition

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, we specialize in assisting landowners with compensation claims when their property is being acquired compulsorily by a government agency.

Our experienced team collaborates with property valuers, town planners, forensic accountants, agronomists, and engineers to secure the best possible outcome for you. We provide comprehensive services that include:

✔️Compensation Claim Preparation: Offering advice on preparing compensation claims and understanding the applicable statutory compensation regime.

✔️Negotiation: Conducting negotiations with the acquiring authority and developing effective negotiation strategies prior to any formal acquisition.

✔️Expert Valuation: Retaining expert property and business valuers to ensure accurate and favorable valuations.

✔️Temporary Access Arrangements: Negotiating appropriate arrangements for temporary access to the land during the acquisition process.

✔️Court Representation: If necessary, representing you in court proceedings related to compulsory acquisition disputes.

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, we are committed to guiding you through the complexities of compulsory land acquisition and ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

Dispute Resolution Services

Disputes can arise from various situations, whether it’s with a business partner, a client, a neighbor over a fence, or even a family member. When these conflicts occur, it’s essential to understand that there are efficient and cost-effective methods for resolution.

One such option is mediation, which can occur before or after court proceedings commence. Mediation involves both parties, often with legal representation, and is facilitated by an impartial mediator.

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, our team includes Accredited Mediators who are well-equipped to guide you through the mediation process. We are committed to helping you find a swift and economical resolution to your dispute, ensuring that your interests are protected throughout the process.

Business Structure and Insurance Advisory

Selecting the appropriate business structure and insurance options tailored to your specific circumstances is pivotal for your enterprise’s success, as well as for taxation and asset protection purposes.

Our Commercial Law team at Gordon Garling Moffitt offers comprehensive expertise and experience in advising on a range of matters, including:

✔️Establishment of companies, business trusts, and partnerships.

✔️”Buy ins, buy outs,” key party insurance, and risk management.

✔️Trusts as a functional option for business setup or restructuring.

We understand the significance of providing tailored guidance to our clients, highlighting the pros and cons of each structure based on their unique circumstances.

It’s essential to have suitable business agreements in place to safeguard your interests with other parties involved in your business and trading partners. Agreements like Partnership Agreements or Shareholders Agreements govern critical relationships that can impact your business operations.

Buy/Sell Agreements are crucial for business continuity and often include provisions for life insurance or income protection to protect remaining partners in the event of a partner’s death, ensuring the business’s stability and the well-being of their families.

Operating any business involves financial risks, and determining the appropriate insurance coverage and timing can be challenging. At Gordon Garling Moffitt, we collaborate with you and your insurance broker to mitigate risks and alleviate uncertainties associated with protecting your business, particularly its key stakeholders.

We provide assistance with establishing and handling claims under various types of insurance, including:

✔️Key man insurance.

✔️Product liability insurance.

✔️Workers’ compensation insurance.

✔️Professional indemnity insurance.

✔️Public liability insurance.

✔️Personal accident, illness, and disability insurance

With Gordon Garling Moffitt, you can ensure that your business is adequately protected against potential risks, allowing you to focus on its growth and success.

Rural Conveyancing

The processes and risks associated with purchasing a rural property are different to those purchases in residential areas.

As a law firm with over 150 years’ experience in the local region, we understand better than anyone the unique challenges of transacting rural property, and ensuring detailed due diligence is completed prior to exchanging contracts.

We work with our clients to complete thorough property investigations including comprehensive pre-contract enquiries targeted at legal access, enclosure permits, Crown lands, noxious weeds, livestock diseases, native vegetation and water licences, to name a few. We also have extensive experience in transacting Western lands leases for grazing, agriculture, homes and businesses.

Whether you’re buying your first rural property, expanding the family farm or moving to greener pastures, our skilled and dedicated legal team are ready to ask all the right questions and come with you on the journey to securing your new rural property,

Succession Planning for Farming and Business Families

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, our dedicated team specializes in Succession Planning for farming and business families.

Succession Planning is crucial for ensuring that the hard work you’ve invested over the years remains viable for the future. Our goal is to maintain, develop, and improve existing structures, such as the family farm or small business.

We help you create a strategy that enables a smooth transition with minimal disruption to operations. Our experienced team collaborates with you and your advisors, accountants, financial planners, and aged care providers to craft a comprehensive plan. We also ensure that all necessary documentation is in place to effectively implement your strategy.

With Gordon Garling Moffitt, you can trust that your legacy will be preserved and your succession plans will be executed seamlessly.

Pension Planning Assistance

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, we possess the specialized knowledge to assist you with all your pension planning inquiries.

✔️Eligibility Assessment: Determine if you are entitled to a pension.

✔️Asset Reorganization: Explore if reorganizing your personal assets could qualify you for a pension.

✔️Dispute Resolution: Resolve disputes regarding your pension entitlements.

✔️Asset Exclusions: Learn about assets that are excluded from the ‘assets test’.

✔️Deeming and Gifting Rules: Understand the deeming and gifting rules that affect your pension.

✔️Asset Thresholds: A couple may be entitled to a part age pension if their assets (excluding their home) are less than $1,151,500. This threshold will decrease to $823,000 as of 1 January 2017. However, qualifying for a pension before this date may still entitle you to a Commonwealth Seniors Card if your benefits are reduced due to the threshold change.

Even if you are entitled to just $1 of pension, you can access numerous benefits, such as reduced pharmaceutical costs and free vehicle registrations. At Gordon Garling Moffitt, we ensure you understand and maximize your pension entitlements.

Easements and Land Restrictions Assistance

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, we provide expert assistance with easements and restrictions placed on land parcels.

An easement is a section of land registered on your property title that grants someone else the right to use the land for a specific purpose, such as a shared driveway. Additionally, there are statutory easements, like those for power lines, telephone lines, or drainage, which may not be registered on your title.

When selling a property, it’s crucial to disclose any easements in the contract documents. If you are in the process of buying a property, we ensure a thorough title search is conducted before the exchange of contracts, so you fully understand the impact of any easements.

Being informed about easements and restrictions is vital before purchasing, selling, or leasing land, as these can significantly affect the land’s usability and value.

We will review the title and, if necessary, liaise with a surveyor to advise you on any easements, covenants, or restrictions associated with the property.

At Gordon Garling Moffitt, we ensure you have all the information needed to make informed decisions regarding easements and land restrictions.

Personal Property Securities Act

The Personal Property Securities Act (Cth) 2009 (PPSA) revolutionized the landscape of securing personal property nationwide, excluding land.

These new regulations impact a broad spectrum of commercial activities, often in unforeseen ways. If you are involved in any of the following activities, it’s imperative to consider the implications of the PPSA to avoid potential repercussions:

✔️Leasing, bailment, consignment, or hiring of personal property.

✔️Selling goods with retention of title/conditional sale arrangements, such as grain, livestock, or equipment sales on terms.

✔️Cultivating crops on third-party land or providing financing for crops.

✔️Providing loans to finance the purchase of personal property, including within family or family business entities.

✔️Engaging in transactions involving real property where fixtures, fit-out, or plant equipment are included.

For any complex commercial transactions, seeking advice on the PPSA’s impact is highly recommended. At Gordon Garling Moffitt, our team of experienced commercial specialists is available to provide guidance on navigating the requirements of the PPSA.

As part of these changes, the PPSR (Personal Property Securities Register), a national online registry, was established for registering all security interests in personal property. Our team can handle your registrations and searches, ensuring compliance and identifying any encumbrances or security interests affecting personal property.