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Buying or Selling Rural Property

Buying or Selling Rural Property

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Buying or selling rural or agricultural property involves consideration of a wide and varied range of different issues over and above those involved when buying residential property. There are many additional matters which need to be considered and dealt with in the sale and purchase contract.

At Wallace & Wallace Lawyers, we have been assisting landowners in the agricultural industry to buy and sell many different types of agricultural land and guiding them through the conveyancing process for almost 50 years. When buying a rural or agricultural property, there are a number of considerations to be discussed prior to a contract being signed and ultimately to be dealt with once the contract has been signed.

These matters include:

  • water entitlements (including water licences and water allocations)
  • ownership structure
  • biosecurity
  • contamination
  • vegetation management
  • freehold and leasehold
  • forward selling of crop

At Wallace & Wallace Lawyers we recommend that buyers and sellers do not sign any contract or enter into any legally binding agreement before they have arranged for us to peruse and discuss the contract with them. Ensure you speak with one of our experienced staff before signing a contract in order that we may advise you as to the best way to proceed.

Water Entitlements

As any farmer or person on the land knows, water is essential to any farming operation. In Queensland, there are a number of different ways which water rights can be held. These include a water licence or water allocation.

Water Licence

A water licence is a licence to take water which attaches to land. On transfer of the land, the water licence automatically transfers such that its ownership is always in common with the land to which it attaches. There is no consent as such required to the transfer of a water licence.

When selling land, it is important to ensure that the water licence attaches only to the land being sold. If the water licence attaches to other parcels of land not being sold, it is necessary to take steps to amend the water licence prior to selling the land.

We can assist you with the process required to amend the water licence.

Water Allocation

A water allocation is a separate tradeable commodity. It does not attach to any specific parcel of land and can be bought and sold separately to land.

The transfer of a water allocation requires the consent of either Sunwater or the Department of Resources. These consents need to be applied for and obtained before a transfer of a water allocation can proceed.

At Wallace & Wallace Lawyers, we can assist you with the transfer of a water allocation in conjunction with the transfer of land or the sale or purchase of a water allocation separately to the sale of land. Contact our experienced rural team in the event you have any queries regarding your water entitlements and/or any water entitlements you are wishing to sell or purchase.

Passing on the Family Farm

In the Mackay region there are many farms which have remained in the same family for generations. We have acted and continue to act for many families looking to keep the farm in the family and pass the farm from one generation to the next.

Transfers of the family farm to nominated children sometimes involves the children paying full value for the property but often there is some component of a gift, either wholly or partly, and an assumption of mortgage debt in consideration for the transfer.

Issues to be addressed in a family transfer include:-

  1. Stamp duty considerations (noting there is a stamp duty concession for transfer between family members subject to various criteria being satisfied – we can advise you as to whether the transfer you are proposing satisfies the criteria for such exemption to apply);
  2. Right of residence in a dwelling house on the family farm;
  3. Identifying the element of gift and any component which is to be repaid by the children;
  4. Advising on and preparing security documents to secure any monies to be repaid over time; and
  5. Estate planning considerations arising upon the transfer of the family farm to one child.

Please contact us to discuss any proposed transfer between family members and take advantage of our experienced team of lawyers who practice in this area.

We also assist with…

To make certain that your interests are protected, our conveyancing team works alongside our commercial, estate planning and commercial property experts to give you the most comprehensive legal advice tailored for your individual situation.

We can assist

Contact one of our experienced lawyers to assist you today.

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(07) 4963 2000