Articles on Property law

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Our land-title system originated in the mid-19th century when Sir Robert Richard Torrens campaigned to reform Adelaide’s chaotic deeds-based land system. National Library of Australia

Torrens, our land-title pioneer, might have approved of privatised registries

Sir Robert Richard Torrens – the man behind Australia’s 'Torrens system' of land-title registration – was an economic liberal who might have approved of privatising title registries.
A blockchain’s ability to move assets from one owner to another allows less dependence on intermediaries. www.shutterstock.com

How the blockchain will transform housing markets

There are many hidden costs and inefficiencies in housing markets. Blockchain is poised to transform that.
Federal and state agencies are using powerful automated data-matching programs to identify properties that are generating income and might be liable for tax. from www.shutterstock.com

Airbnb hosts beware – it’s not just Centrelink using robo-debt systems

State revenue offices are using data matching to identify people who earn income from Airbnb, then sending notices that they may be liable for land tax, even though this remains a legal grey area.
Australians do business with a title office only a couple of times in their lives – when they buy and sell their homes, for instances. AAP/Paul Miller

What are the implications of privatising land title offices?

Privatisation has its advantages. But Australia’s title offices may not necessarily be the right government businesses to be privatised.
Several preventative measures can be taken to reduce the impact of fraudulent property industry behaviour on consumers. AAP/Dan Peled

How can we arrest the rise in white-collar crime in Australia’s property industry?

Consumers lose out when a real estate agent acts fraudulently – be that false advertising, deceptive conduct or misusing trust funds. Research shows a link between such misconduct and lower regulatory and educational standards.
Don’t forget to ask for a receipt. Niall Carson/PA

Who owns the moon?

Whether you’re into mining, energy or tourism, there are lots of reasons to explore space. Some “pioneers” even believe humanity’s survival depends on colonising celestial bodies such as the moon and Mars…
Are archaic laws getting in the way of Australians enjoying the beach? Tim J Keegan/Flickr

Who owns the beach when the sea is rising?

We commonly assume that Australians have a fundamental right to access the vast array of beautiful beaches that fringe our continent. But as sea levels rise, these assumptions are being put into question…
Australia’s property market is heating up; but what role have self-funded superannuants played?

Are SMSFs inflating a property bubble?

Self managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) have come under criticism from regulators amid concerns that the sector is over-investing in the residential property sector. The profession has hit back at the…
Downton Abbey is a period indulgence for some, but at its heart it is a story of property law. AAP/Seven Network

Downton Abbey: melodrama, frocks and … property law?

Dim the lights, don the snuggie and pass the chocolate; Downton Abbey is back. Amid all the mooning over Matthew and Mary, viewers may not have noticed that Downton Abbey is actually about property law…

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