Rural Conveyancing and Family Transfers

Why engage Sheehan & Co to act on your behalf in the purchase or sale of rural property?

Paul Sheehan has broad experience in acting for rural clients throughout Queensland (but particularly within the Surat Basin) since 1987 in the purchase or sale of rural property, including cattle grazing properties, farming properties and hobby farms. Paul understands the issues that need to be clearly addressed in rural sale contracts. Some of these issues include:

  • The transfer of the title to water allocations and water licences and whether a Deed of Covenant needs to be entered into in respect of any water agreements so that a Buyer is bound by the terms of the water agreement and receives the benefit of the water agreement;
  • Making provision for informal access arrangements (for example, in respect to drawing water from a river or creek through pipeline extending over other property to the property being purchased);
  • The disclosure of agreements made by a Seller with mining companies under the Petroleum Act 1923 (Qld), the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) 2004 (Qld) and/or the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld);
  • Making provision for a Buyer to enter into a Deed of Covenant, where required, so that the Buyer is bound by the provisions contained in a Conduct and Compensation Agreement made under the petroleum legislation;
  • When acting for a Buyer, ensuring the insertion of various Seller's warranties (for example, the organochlorine status of the land is clear; all plant, machinery and equipment included in the sale are in good going order and condition; no disputes in relation to dividing fences; no notice received requiring destruction of noxious plants; no illegal clearing of vegetation on the land...);
  • When acting for a Seller, ensuring the insertion of various matters which the Buyer cannot later complain of or make a claim for compensation (for example, the area of the land, the boundaries of the land being incorrect, any of the boundary fences being "give and take" fences, the carrying capacity of the land, any noxious weeds growing on any part of the land or any lease, licence, authority or application under the petroleum legislation affecting the land...);
  • Making provision for the right of a Buyer to enter upon the property prior to settlement for the purpose of cultivating the land or grazing cattle on certain terms;
  • Ensuring that the Contract is subject to Minister's consent to the transfer if the land sold is State leasehold land;
  • Right to postpone vacating the property/removing cattle after settlement due to wet weather conditions.

Our services in this area are tailored to achieve better outcomes for you by:

  • Taking full and detailed initial instructions from you to ensure that the proposed Contract addresses all relevant issues;
  • Preferably, we draw the Contract document so that we can have control over the quality of the document and the timeliness in expediting negotiations in relation to the terms of the Contract;
  • We are experienced in drawing tailor made Special Conditions to suit the specific terms of agreement - these provisions are drawn by solicitors (not paralegals);
  • Paul Sheehan and his team of solicitors personally address any issues arising during the course of the transaction (the paralegal staff do not address these issues). We see this feature as being a point of difference from the "cut cost" conveyancers who are only interested in getting to point A to point B with minimal communication with their clients and often have little experience in dealing with rural transactions.

Family transfers

We have acted for numerous rural clients in connection with the transfer or acquisition (as the case may be) of valuable rural property to family members. For example, transfers by parents of the family farm to nominated children either wholly by way of gift or partly by gift and partly by cash/assumption of liability of mortgage debt.

Some issues which we address with you:

  • Sometimes parents wish to retain the right to reside at the family homestead. We are experienced in drawing appropriate Deeds of Family Arrangement to document the family members' agreement as to the right of residence: who pays what, who provides what. The Deed also provides for such right of residence to be secured;
  • We also address in the Deed whether there is a need for the transferee children to satisfy any financial shortfall in the transferor parents' future general living needs;
  • The impacts of the proposed transfer on a transferor's Centrelink pension eligibility is carefully addressed by us or by you (working in with your accountant/financial advisor and, if necessary, Centrelink's financial advisor);
  • These impacts are carefully addressed so that you receive advice from appropriate professionals in order to ensure that you fully understand the short term and long term consequences of the transfer on your pension and future financial requirements. It is critical that these issues are addressed before proceeding with a proposed family transfer;
  • We carefully address and advise you as to the availability of any duty concessions in relation to family transfers and the amount of the duty payable on the cash/assumption of liability component of the consideration for the transfer.  

Make an appointment 

Our office is centrally located within the Surat Basin and we are pleased to meet with clients in person, via telephone or home visit to discuss your legal needs in this area.



 Remember - it pays to get the right advice!