FIRB Changes

The Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Regulations 1989 has now been amended to remove the exemption that previously allowed Temporary Residents to buy residential real estate in Australia without FIRB approval.  Contracts entered into on or after 24 April 2010 by Temporary Residents to buy residential real estate in Australia must have FIRB approval.

Our Conveyancing Solicitors and Property Lawyers can assist you with FIRB and all your Conveyancing and Property Law needs.

10 Replies to “FIRB Changes”

  1. We have just put a house under contract and have now been told the owner cannot find the deed, so therefore he needs an extention of around 6 to 8 weeks. He has said we can move into it whilst they search for the deed. Just wondering the legalities of it all. Thanks

  2. I am a first time vendor and the finance clause was: Amount: Sufficient to complete; Date: On or before 21 days from date of contract; Lender: Bank or Finance Institution of Buyer’s choice. 6 weeks after signing the contract and giving 3 extensions to buyer to get approval for finance, I am told that he can’t get finance, my sale has fallen through, I have lost all that time in which to find other purchasers and have to start again. I have severe doubts that the buyer initially applied for finance in a timely fashion or whether he even approached a bank or finance company. Is there any way that the finance clause can be deemed inapplicable from the word go, thereby giving me the right to force the buyer to proceed with the purchase?

  3. I doubt it but if you would like our Property Lawyers to consider the issue for you please send us a copy of the Contract and all the correspondence between the parties regarding the betweens and we will give you a price to provide that advice.

    There may be an argument that the buyer may be in breach of the finance clause by not taking reasonable steps to peruse the application. This is often hard to prove. What evidence do you have of this?

    Whether you spend money on this is going to depend on how good the price was compared to what you could achieve now.

    Let us know if our Property Solicitors can help.

  4. In Qld, if a Paper Title has issued it needs to be provided a settlement. If lost, a replacement needs to be sought and this does take some weeks.

    Moving in early is by agreement and you need to carefully document the terms of that early possession in relation to:

    – is rent payable?
    – who takes out insurance?
    – what if settlement does not occur?
    – when are adjustments to rates etc calculated from?
    – who maintains the property (e.g. what happens if something breaks)?

    The other key is don’t spend money on the property until you own it. Our Property and Conveyancing Lawyers can help. Let us know if you need that help.

  5. Can you pls help me. We hold 410visas. We own 2 properties in WA, the first purchased in 2004 with FIRB approval. The second bought in 2008 when FIRB approval was no longer required. The first property is rented as we have so far been unable to sell it (it is still on the sales market) The second is our main residence. Should we decide to leave Australia for 12 months or more is it now a FIRB requirement that we sell both or one of the properties?
    Your comments will be appreciated

  6. I suggest that you seek to call the FIRB. Their officers are usually very helpful.

    If that doesn’t hep I suggest that you will need to consult a local specialist property lawyer with FIRB experience.

    Andrew Lind

  7. We entered into a QLD contract for sale in both my name and my wife’s, but find we can only get finance if I apply in my name only. I have requested this change in writing from the seller, who has written a note in response that he is fine with the change and that he does not need a Deed of Rescission. He and I have already signed a new contract in my name only. Now, do we still need a Deed of Rescission to avoid duplication of Stamp Duty and other taxes, or is this action sufficient?

  8. You need to take specific legal advice on this question with the lawyer being made aware of all the circumstances and the documents.


  9. Hi
    I have a 457 visa for 6 years now and I bought cash ( no loan) an existing house 5 years ago. I will have to leave Australia in the next month. My daughter who did her High School here, will stay in Australia to do her studies through a student Visa.
    Can I keep the house for her?
    thank you

  10. Hi Alain,

    We would need to speak with you regarding circumstances of your property purchase. We no longer provide a migration service, be we can make a recommendation. Please contact our office for a further chat with one of our client liaison team to see if we can assist you. Our number is (07) 3252 0011.

    Kind regards,
    Heilala Tabete
    Business Development Manager

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