• Commercial Law

    Commercial Law

    We are business people as much as we are lawyers. We will take care of the legal documents so you can confidently run your business.
    As your business grows, its risk profile and governance challenges will change. We partner with our clients over the long term to ensure they are in the driver’s seat for success.

  • Dispute Resolution

    Dispute Resolution

    We are in your corner when the going gets tough. Having resolved over 6,500 disputes for business owners have seen it all before.

    Whether you need a skilled negotiator or a fearless litigator, we specialise in delivering commercial results when:

    Customers refuse to pay;
    Suppliers let you down; and
    Business Partners do the wrong thing.

  • Employment & Safety

    Employment & Safety

    The biggest challenge for any business owner, is managing their employees.

    A difficult employee can make you question why you got into business in the first place and be toxic to your team morale.

    We deliver proactive solutions to manage your team via employment contracts, policies and procedures as well as handling employment disputes when they arise.

  • Property & Construction

    Property & Construction

    Property is the key most wealth in Australia.  Whether you are buying, selling, leasing or developing property, you need a lawyer you can count on.

    We can advise on the whole property development process from obtaining finance to development approvals, construction and sale or leasing.

    We also act for the Master Builders Victoria and have extensive expertise in construction contracts and disputes.

  • Family Law

    Family Law

    At Taurus Legal Management we understand the unique challenges clients encounter during family disputes, especially when children are involved. Our family lawyers specialise in handling high-asset cases with a focus on protecting clients wealth, securing their family’s future, and safeguarding the best interests of their children.


Buyer Beware: What to Look Out for In a Contract of Sale

Buying a property can be a daunting experience. It involves a lot of paperwork and experience to understand what it all means. If you are not an expert, you may miss indications of fraud, overly harsh clauses, and hidden fees.

Whilst it is best to engage an expert to review these documents, if you feel comfortable reviewing them yourself, you should at least look out for these red flags!

Red Flags

  1. Authority to Sell

Make sure that the vendor’s name identified on the Contract of Sale, Vendor’s Statement and title are all consistent. Often, there are simple spelling mistakes. However, if the name is completely different in the Contract of Sale or Vendor’s Statement and title, this indicates that you need to dig deeper. For example, the name may differ where the property is being sold:

  • by a trustee in bankruptcy;
  • by a liquidator;
  • by a power of attorney; or
  • by a deceased estate.

Where one of the above issues arise, you should request a copy of the document which gives that person the power to sell the property. Without obtaining a copy of this document, you risk the property being transferred illegally or fraudulently. This could trigger the real owner to commence legal proceedings to try to reverse the transaction.

  1. Increase in Default Interest

Typically, default interest clauses will require you to pay interest between 10-14% on any overdue payments. Watch out for interest clauses that are higher and be sure to negotiate them.

  1. Look out for Theft

If you are purchasing an apartment or townhouse, it will likely have a body corporate. In the Vendor’s Statement, you should find a certificate from the body corporate and notes or a resolution from their last meeting.  Read these notes carefully! They often set out what is going to be improved with the property and where the body corporate fees are being allocated. We often find that these disclose an upgrade in security due to repeated theft! We also find funds being used to repair significant building defects. Consider these problems carefully and whether you want to purchase the property with the risk that these problems will be ongoing.

  1. Additional Fees

There is a recent trend in Contracts of Sale to attribute extra fees to the purchaser. A few hundred dollars in legal fees for moving the settlement time or date at short notice is common and generally acceptable. However, look out for fees that exceed $300.  Often these fees can be reduced or removed altogether.

If you find any of these red flags, try to negotiate them with the vendor and consider if you are willing to proceed with the purchase. For smaller issues (such as additional fees) these are often worth accepting the risk in order to purchase your dream property. However, more substantial risks such as the authority to sell the property, should be considered with extreme caution.

Should you require assistance with your property purchase or sale, please contact one of our experienced property lawyers at Taurus Legal Mangement on (03) 9481 2000 or info@tauruslawyers.com.au.


Posted by Taurus Legal Management