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FIRB Proposed Changes To Real Estate Ownership

Released on: 20-Mar-2015

The Federal Government is considering introducing new legislation tightening the legal definitions, closing loopholes and introducing a new range of penalties for inappropriate buying or selling of existing and new residential real estate in Australia.

It is proposed there will be civil penalties for foreign nationals who don’t comply with the law including non resident and temporary residents in Australia. It is also proposed that third parties assisting them have criminal penalties imposed.  Criminal penalties currently exist however the ability to enforce them is considered unreasonable due to the proof required.

This may well reduce the spruiking of Australian property overseas by listing agents or developers who are not complying with FIRB regulation.  There are a number of web based property portals that have limited requirements of their users that may also be caught in this proposed new legislation.

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/MediaRealesesByCatalogue/8F87B47A8FAB2D5CCA256EB700004FF9?OpenDocument

Key paper outlining the new legislation considerations and asking questions.

http://www.treasury.gov.au/~/media/Treasury/Consultations%20and%20Reviews/Consultations/2015/Strengthening%20Australias%20foreign%20investment%20framework/Key%20Documents/PDF/Australias%20foreign%20investment%20framework.ashx

English, Chinese, Japanese and Indonesian language documentation.

http://www.firb.gov.au/content/policy.asp

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