Category: Uncategorized

New Head Office opening Monday!

We are very pleased to inform our valued clients and colleagues that on Monday 13th November 2017, Trouncer Legal will open the doors of it’s new Head Office in Cremorne, NSW!

Our new address is:

Address:            Shop 20, 332-338 Military Road, Cremorne NSW 2090

Postal address:  PO Box 196, Cremorne NSW 2090

Telephone numbers:

For the time being, you may continue to contact us on the following numbers:

Landline:            02 9481 9800

Genevieve:         0405 947 322

Sebastian:           0408 021 198


Our email addresses are still:

General inquiries:



After over 30 years located in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney we have found that our clients are increasingly coming to us from all over Sydney. Our new office will help us to continue to offer our efficient and highly-regarded service to our growing client base in a more convenient location.

Our new Head Office is located in the Cremorne shopping district and is conveniently accessable via bus from the CBD, North Sydney and Northern Beaches. Buses connect with train stations on the North Shore Line. There are also ample parking facilities in the street and behind the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace.

Our last day of operations at Thornleigh will be Friday 10th November 2017. For our current clients based in the Northern Suburbs and Hills District, at your request, we will be happy to offer our services via our Beecroft home office.

All Notary Public services will continue to be offered via the Beecroft home office.

We look forward to continuing our relationship at the new location. Thank you for all your support.

Kind regards,
Trouncer Legal

Genevieve McManamey
Principal Solicitor

Sebastian Trouncer
Solicitor & Notary Public

Selling or leasing your property? Changes to swimming pool compliance apply to you!

Previously, we wrote about the changes to swimming pool compliance, which were due to take effect in April this year. The requirements for the sale (and leasing) of properties with a swimming pool have undergone some changes and a new set of compliance requirements commenced on 29 April 2016.

Certificate of Non-Compliance – Passing responsibility to the purchaser

Previously, owners were required to obtain a valid certificate of compliance or occupation certificate (no more than 3 years old) along with a registration certificate evidencing that the pool had been registered on the online register (

For clients selling their property, the changes now include the option to obtain a certificate of non-compliance as an alternative to the certificate of compliance. Certificates of non-compliance are issued in the case where a certificate of compliance cannot be obtained and shift the responsibility of obtaining the certificate of compliance to the purchaser.

A certificate of non-compliance cannot be used if you are leasing your property.

I am selling a property with a swimming pool. What do I need to do?

Unless you have already done so, you must arrange an inspection by Council or a private certifier (known as ‘E1 Certifiers’) before you sell your property and obtain either a certificate of compliance or a certificate of non-compliance.

If your swimming pool is less than 3 years old and you have a relevant occupation certificate, you do not need to obtain a compliance certificate, but you must ensure that your pool is registered.

An inspection by a local authority must be carried out within 10 business days where an inspection is requested for the purposes of a lease or sale. If the certifier is not satisfied that the swimming pool complies with the requirements, then a certificate of non-compliance will be issued within seven days, along with a written notice setting out the reasons why the requirements have not been met and the steps to be carried out to meet those requirements.

You should give a copy of your certificate of compliance, certificate of non-compliance or occupation certificate (whichever is applicable) to your solicitor, as it must be attached to the contract for sale. Failure to attach one of these documents is deemed a breach of of the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 (NSW) and a purchaser will be able to cancel the contract and have their deposit refunded.

I am purchasing a property with a swimming pool. How do the changes apply to me?

Purchasers who complete a sale with a certificate of non-compliance attached to the contract will have 90 days from the date of settlement to rectify the non-compliance issues. Purchasers should inform themselves of the nature and extent of the non-compliance issues and assess whether the cost of rectifying those issues is reflected in the purchase price.

Rectifying the areas of non-compliance could involve extensive and expensive works. Purchasers must be satisfied before they sign a contract that they are happy to carry out the works and can afford them. To that end, we suggest purchasers obtain a pre-purchase contract review before attending an auction or signing a contract with an agent. As part of our pre-purchase contract review service, we make enquiries with the sellers and will obtain a copy of the notice issued by the certifier that will detail the areas of non-compliance so that you can make an informed decision regarding the purchaser price or if you want to buy the property at all.

Exemptions – strata schemes and off-the-plan contracts

Strata and community schemes comprising are subject to mandatory inspections every three years and a certificate of compliance must be maintained by the scheme. However, an owner of a lot in a strata or community scheme is not required to attach the certificate of compliance to the contract for sale. This exemption does not apply to 2 lot strata schemes (such as duplexes).

A general exemption also applies to off-the-plan contracts.

If you have any queries about buying or selling a property with a swimming pool, please contact us today by phoning (02) 9481 9800, emailing us at or filling out our contact form here.

When to buy and Sell Property

Everyone knows that property prices move in cycles, and of course it would be great to sell at the top of the cycle, or buy at the bottom. The trouble is, it’s very hard to pick the top and bottom of the market, even for the experts. If you’re looking to move from one house to another at the same time, it may not matter quite as much, because in general terms house prices may all move up or down together. However, that assumes you are buying in the same area, and in a similar price bracket.

That’s not to say that some people don’t make a lot of money, either by good management or good fortune. If you can buy cheaply at the bottom of a cycle, and sell at the top of a later cycle, you can do very well. Or you may sell at the top of a cycle, rent for a year or two, and get more for your money in a buyer’s market later.

On the other hand, things can change pretty fast in the market, and it is unwise to gamble with the family home. In the past, many families have sold up in Sydney, and moved to Queensland for a better life. After a few years when things haven’t worked out, they have wanted to return. But they have often found they couldn’t afford to buy back into the Sydney market. The same thing can happen to you while you rent.

The Sydney market may have been quiet for the past few years, and you may read that we are in for a period of low inflation. However, Sydney is still the leading real estate market in Australia, and is notorious for a sudden burst of price rises when conditions are right. If you are caught renting at the wrong time, it could be very, very costly.

You may think that it is fairly easy to pick the top and bottom of a cycle. Simply read the papers, keep an eye on things, and it will be obvious. I don’t think so (we would all be rich otherwise), and I think it is getting more difficult as Sydney becomes larger and more cosmopolitan. Here are some factors that I think you should bear in mind:

  •  There are more and more “markets” within the Sydney region. Prices for inner city units may be booming, while houses in the south-west may be static. Even in the same area, houses above $500,000.00 may be selling well, while houses under $250,000.00 may be selling slowly.
  • There is a greater range of housing. The standard quarter acre block has given way to a multitude of villas, townhouses, units and so on. Again, this means you need to be more careful when assessing price movements.
  • Remember that all markets are affected by supply and demand. Your local agent may say that sales in the last few months have been great, but this doesn’t mean that prices have been increasing at all. Conversely, if the local agent is quiet because he or she simply doesn’t have any decent houses to show you at all, this may be a signal that supply is tight, and prices will rise if the demand it there.
  • The information age in which we live means that there is a wealth of information, statistics and other material being produced all the time. The trouble is that statistics can be interpreted and manipulated forever, and at any one time there will be numerous economists, consultants, real estate experts and others predicting rising prices, and at the same time there will be others predicting quite the reverse.

The best advice is to remember that real estate should be a long term investment, not a short term gamble. It is true that prices tend to rise with inflation over time, but don’t ignore the fact that property values can also fall. The costs of buying and selling property mean that short-term “gain” is often illusory. Look at this simple example, where someone plans to buy a bargain for $600,000.00, and sell it quickly for $675,000.00, obtaining a loan of $500,000.00. For the sake of simplicity, assume it is too difficult to rent the property in the proposed time frame of 4 months.


Price:                                                   $ 600,000.00


Stamp duty house:                                  20,510.00

Loan fees:                                                     350.00

Valuation fees etc.                                        600.00

Legal costs:                                               1,600.00

Building/pest report:                                     500.00

Interest on loan @

8% for 6 months:                                    20,000.00

TOTAL:                                              $ 643,560.00


Price:                                                   $ 675,000.00


Agent’s selling fee

@ 2.5%:                                                 16,875.00

Auction expenses:                                     1,500.00

Discharge of loan fee:                                   650.00

Legal expenses:                                        1,500.00

TOTAL:                                                 654,475.00

Purchase costs:                                    (643,560.00)

“PROFIT”:                                            $ 10,915.00

The above example is, of course, over simplified, but time and time again people get caught into thinking that properties will sell faster and easier than they do in practice, and it is the holding costs that are the killer. You may say a $10,000.00 gain is better than nothing, but remember there may also be capital gains tax, renovation costs and time and effort spent on the property. It all adds up to taking a major risk for little or no return.


Sebastian Trouncer is the founding partner of Trouncer Legal and has over 35 years experience in property law. Contact Sebastian today to discuss your sale or purchase by phoning (02) 9481 9800, emailing or filling out our contact form here.