The Overseas Investment Office says it recently issued a compliance letter to a law firm for its failure to complete Residential Land Statements.
It says the failure occurred when the law firm was facilitating transfers from retired trustees to new trustees.
The Office says it is a reminder to complete Residential Land Statements.
These capture a person or companies’ eligibility to acquire an interest in residential land. It is a requirement under section 51A of the Overseas Investment Act 2005 to complete Residential Land Statements when residential land is being transferred.
Under section 51C of the Act, Residential Land Statements must be provided by the client to the conveyancer or lawyer prior to the transfer being lodged.
The OIO says because Residential Land Statements are required before a transfer takes place, they are an important safeguard against any further and potentially more serious breaches of the Act.
It says the conveyancer or lawyer relies on the information provided in the statement to give effect to the acquisition. The maximum civil penalty for a breach of section 51C is $20,000.