Posts in Property
Getting in on the deal: nominees and novation of contracts

In the context of contracts for the sale of land, it is quite common to see clauses permitting the purchaser to nominate a third party to which title is to be transferred. Less common (one would hope) are issues arising from this, such as whether a right to nominate has been validly exercised and whether the contract of sale ultimately has been novated. Such issues recently arose for the New South Wales Court of Appeal’s resolution in Fu Tian Fortune Pty Ltd v Park Cho Pty Ltd [2018] NSWCA 282.

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When enforcing a contract, what does it mean to be ‘ready, willing and able’ to perform your side of the bargain?

Where a party seeks to rely on another’s repudiation of a contract as a basis for suing, that party must show it has been ready, willing and able to comply with the contract. Matters can be complicated where the parties clearly disagree about how to interpret and comply with the contract, and even more so where the contract expressly requires the parties to use their best endeavours to see the contract fulfilled. The Court of Appeal in its recent decision in Bisognin v Hera Project Pty Ltd [2018] VSCA 93 has tackled these kinds of issues.

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Is your caveat defective? If you cannot fix it, perhaps seek an injunction instead

A caveator of land, when notified by the Registrar of Titles of the pending registration of an interest or transfer of the land, can seek a court order that such registration be delayed for a period of time. But what if the caveat itself is defective and cannot be fixed? The Supreme Court in TL Rentals Pty Ltd v Youth on Call Pty Ltd [2018] VSC 105 has recently clarified the law regarding the ability of the caveator to instead seek an injunction in such circumstances.

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Actions for recovery of land: the Court of Appeal on constructive trusts and limitation periods

Where seeking to recover land on the basis of a constructive trust arising from proprietary estoppel, when does that constructive trust arise? Does it arise when a court makes a declaration to its effect, or when the relevant cause of action accrues? And should the court consider a lesser remedy instead of declaring a trust? The Court of Appeal in McNab v Graham [2017] VSCA 352 answers those questions.

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Breach of contract: quantifying damages for a lost opportunity to ... lose money?

Where there has been a breach of contract, the innocent party can sue for damages including, where relevant, damages for the lost opportunity under the contract. In Principal Properties Pty Ltd v Brisbane Broncos Leagues Club Limited [2017] QCA 254, the Queensland Court of Appeal has considered a scenario where the opportunity to earn a profit under the contract was affected by various contingencies and where there might ultimately have been a loss instead. The Court has addressed the question of law, namely, whether an innocent party to a breach of contract can suffer a compensable loss even where, had the contract proceeded, that party might have lost money.

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Enforcing an equitable charge against a bankrupt

The Full Court of the Federal Court has recently clarified the law regarding the ability of a secured creditor of a bankrupt estate to commence proceedings against the bankrupt pursuant to the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth). In Morris Finance Ltd v Brown [2017] FCAFC 516 the Full Court considered the provisions of the Act and held that, as an exception to the general rule that a creditor requires leave of a court to bring a claim for a provable debt against a bankrupt, proceedings to enforce an equitable charge do not require leave.

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What is a ‘retail tenancy dispute’? Navigating the statutory regime

Disputes regarding retail tenancies are typically the exclusive province of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court of Victoria in the recent case of AMJE Pty Ltd v Mobil Oil Australia Pty Ltd held that the Court possesses jurisdiction in circumstances where, turning on a point of statutory interpretation, the plaintiff had made a claim that was not in fact a ‘retail tenancy dispute’ in the strict sense.

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Applying to remove a caveat?

The recent Victorian Supreme Court decision in Yuksels Nominees Pty Ltd v Nguyen & Anor rovides some useful guidance about the removal of caveats under the Transfer of Land Act 1958. The case also considers the relevance of other court proceedings instigated by the caveator and whether an application to remove the caveat might in such a situation be 'vexatious'.

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