New Property Tax, Balcony Safety and a Very Merry Christmas

New Property Tax, Balcony Safety and a Very Merry Christmas

Hello and welcome to the final Think Property & Co blog of 2017! What a year it has been. As we plan for an exciting year ahead, we’re bringing you all the need-to-knows of property ownership for 2018.

Vacant Residential Land Tax

In a bid to address the housing supply shortfall in Victoria, the Government is imposing a vacant residential land tax on all property in inner and middle Melbourne zones that have been vacant for 6 months of the calendar year that preceded. The six months are accumulated over the year from January 1 to December 31, and do not need to be continuous. d‘Residential land’ refers to established dwellings that are not lived-in by the owner or a tenant on an official lease.

For example, if your investment property has two vacancy periods of 3 months, you may be liable for the vacant property tax. Likewise, if your property is vacant for the entire year, you may also be liable.

Vacant homes in the following council catchment areas may be subject to the new tax:

Banyule, Bayside, Boroondara, Darebin, Glen Eira, Hobsons Bay, Manningham, Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Monash, Moonee Valley, Moreland, Port Phillip, Stonnington, Whitehorse and Yarra.

The tax is calculated at 1% of the property’s Capital Improved Value – you’ll find the Capital Improved Value on your rates notice. There are a number of circumstances which can render you exempt from the tax, including when a property changes ownership in the 12 months prior to assessment, when an owner has used the property as a holiday home for a qualifying portion of the year, or has been used by the owner as a means of attending their place of work. Find out more about exemptions here.

The State Revenue Office has developed an online tool to assist property owners determine whether they are liable for vacant residential land tax. Click here to find out your position.

Balcony Safety

Think Property & Co would like to remind all tenants and landlords about the importance of balcony and decking safety in rental properties. All balconies and decks are designed to carry a specific load, which when exceeded can result in significant injury.

Keep an eye out for signs that your balcony may be deteriorating – whether you are a tenant or a landlord. Bounciness or unsteadiness, cracking, bowing, rotting timber and poor construction are all warning signs. If you are unsure about your balcony, be cautious and always put safety first. Take care to avoid balcony or decking areas when in larger groups. You can find out more about balcony safety requirements here.

A Restful Break

On a lighter note, the team at Think Property & Co wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. No matter how you’re celebrating, we hope you take this summer season as a chance to relax and connect with loved ones. Thank you for being a part of our 2017 – we can’t wait for what the New Year has in store.

Our Collingwood office will be closed from 12 noon on Friday 22nd December and reopening on Tuesday 2nd January.

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