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Has the ACT maxed out on units?

On 29 June 2017, the ACT Government introduced the Planning and Development (Lease Variation Charges) Determination 2017 (No 1) through which the ACT Government seeks to improve the efficiency and transparency in the ACT planning system, but more particularly the application and codified value of Lease Variation Charges (LVC)1.

Under the Determination, the codified value of LVCs for GFA increases (commercial and industrial) and additional dwellings (residential) under a Crown Lease have been amended. The more controversial of the changes has been the increased LVC payable on limiting the maximum number of permitted dwellings on residential land, which are often necessary to enable unit titling.

Under the former LVC Determination, if a developer submitted an application to vary a residential Crown Lease to specify that 5 dwellings were permitted on the land, the LVC payable was the sum of $32,500 (being, $7,500 for the first 3 dwellings plus $5,000 for each additional dwelling). Under the new Determination however, the LVC is a flat fee of $30,000 per dwelling meaning that the LVC payable in the same scenario will now be $150,000.

Although the Determination currently states that the changes will apply to DAs submitted after 1 July 2017, this is expected to change so that the former LVCs will continue to apply for properties purchased between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. The application of the former LVCs however, will only apply where the applicant submits their DA by 30 September 2017 and lodges their DA (with all required information and having passed the completeness check) by 30 June 2018. 

Applications can also be made to the Treasurer to have the former LVCs apply to lease consolidations where the final property in the consolidation was purchased between 1 July 2016 and 30 June2017.  These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are also conditional upon the applicant submitting their DA by 30 September 2017 and lodging their DA by 30 June 2018. 

If you are a developer and are unsure if the new LVC determination will affect you, please contact the Real Estate and Commercial Team at BAL Lawyers.

[1] Planning and Development (Lease Variation Charges) Determination 2017 (No 1), Explanatory Statement.

Benjamin Grady
P: 02 6274 0959
E: [email protected]

BAL Lawyers


Bradley Allen Love have a large team that focuses on real estate, including commercial conveyancing, commercial property and leasing, residential property and conveyancing, building and construction law, strata management and community title developments.

We provide insightful, tailor-made solutions in all aspects of commercial property in both the ACT and throughout Eastern Australia. Our team of commercial property lawyers pride themselves on being sought out by clients due to the firm’s reputation for providing prompt, effective solutions to the complexities that can arise in commercial property transactions. This is particularly the case with respect to our leasehold system of land in the ACT. We have been involved in most of the significant transactions that have occurred in Canberra over the past 20 years and enjoy seeing our legal handiwork assisting our clients to build, tenant and sell buildings in Canberra and the ACT region.

Our real estate team can assist you with:

  • Strata title, community title, company title
  • Subdivision of land involving unit title, community title and mixed use development
  • Buying and selling house and land packages on behalf of both buyers and builder/developers
  • Bulk land purchases from the Land Development Agency and on-sales on behalf of builder/developers
  • Unit title development sales including large scale projects
  • Advising on loan and mortgage documents
  • Acquisitions and disposals of commercial, industrial, rural and residential
  • Joint venture projects
  • Taxation issues regarding stamp duty and GST
  • Planning issues, land use and appeals
  • Green Star and NABERS advice in new constructions, new fit-outs and leasing transactions within all relevant documents including leases, project management agreements, construction contracts etc.

Our areas of expertise:

  • Commercial Conveyancing
  • Commercial Real Estate and Leasing
  • Planning and Environment Law
  • Residential Real Estate & Conveyancing
  • Strata

If you have a question about Real Estate or Conveyancing, please contact us.

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