Welcome To SMP Legal

SMP Legal is a progressive general legal practice with offices in Dandenong and Werribee. Whilst a relatively new firm, our lawyers have extensive experience in the industries that we work in. We are a hard working team with an emphasis on client service and we are prepared to put in the hard years to earn our clients’ trust by following a very simple philosophy - deliver results in the most efficient and cost effective manner by providing considered, expert advice and assistance as and when our clients require it most.

Our relationships with our clients is our main focus and is at the forefront of everything we do. We take the time to listen and understand your legal requirements.

Whilst we are the first and only Bangladeshi owned and operated legal practice in Victoria, we offer services to a diverse and wide ranging clientele.

Latest questions and answers

Principal Lawyer

1We’ve just bought a property, Joint Proprietor or Tenants in Common?

In the event of Tenants in Common, the parties own a % of the property. You can nominate as to what % you and the other parties want to own and the proportion is entirely at the discretion of the owners. Further, In the event that one party dies, that parties right to the property does NOT automatically pass to the other party or parties. It is possible, in fact advisable, that you Will your portion of the ownership rights by way of a properly executed Will.

So which one do we choose? Joint Proprietorship is the most common option as parties which purchase property are usually related by marriage. If you are buying property for investment, it may be better to own as tenants in common. There are also tax benefits involved in owning as tenants in common. The best option depends on your individual situation and what the purpose of the ownership is.

2Do I have to pay stamp duty?

All property transfers in Victoria are subject to stamp duty unless an exemption applies. Transfer are referred to as any change in ownership from a current owner or owners to a new owner or owners. Whether it be through a sale/purchase or transfer between related parties, from one owner to several owners or from several owners to owner, stamp duty is payable. The stamp duty is calculated on the greater of the current market value or the transfer/sale price. Usually a market value is determined by an appraisal or valuation from an agent or a registered valuer.

Transfers between partenrs (husband, wife, de facto partners, marital breakdowns, etc) are exempt from the payment of stamp duty. Further, an exemption also applies for transfers from a deceased estate.

There are also stamp duty discounts for first home buyers, buyers who will use the property as their principal place of residence and certain types of pension card holders (through Centrelink). However, these are subject to meeting certain eligibility criteria.

The amount of Stamp duty payable may be up to 6%, depending on the purchase/transfer price or market value.

3Our relationship has broken down, what next?

If you are having problems in your marital relationship and you have reached a point where you wish to sever the relationship, you will need to make an application for Divorce. However, prior to applying for a divorce, you must have been separated from your partner for a period of at least 12 months. The courts also consider separation under one roof where the parties have lived separate lives from various perspectives. Upon the expiration of 12 months of separation, the parties may individually or jointly apply to the court for a Divorce.

Whilst joint applications may not always be possible, they are usually more preferable and less time consuming and obviously less expensive from a cost point of view. There are more benefits of applying jointly than separately as you have the ability to choose in regards to parental orders and financial orders for the division of assets. If the parties cannot come to an agreement as to parental orders or financial matters, a court will make a decision which is binding on all parties.

Depending on the length of the marriage you also may need to get advice from a family counsellor by way of a certificate that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

4I’ve just finished or about to finish my studies as an international student, what next?

A large majority of international students have plans to remain in Australia permanently after completing their studies in Australia. Unfortunately, just because you complete a course of education in Australia, doesn’t guarantee that you will obtain permanent residency. Further, opportunities to migrate to Australia permanently is becoming more and more difficult due to continuing changes in Migration law.

One of the benefits that are available to those who do complete a course of study of at least 2 years in length in Australia, is that you are eligible to apply for the sub class 485 graduate visa. This visa allows recent graduates to consider their next option in terms of whether they wish to apply for permanent residence (PR) or engage in further studies, or pack up their bags and head back home. When you are close to completing your studies contact us so we can assist with the application for a 485 visa.

Those who wish to apply for permanent residence needs this visa to lodge an expression of interest to apply for a PR and wait for an invitation to apply for PR. Unfortunately, unlike the old days, not everyone can apply for a PR and you must obtain an invitation from the department of immigration. The invitation process is much easier if you have sponsorship from the state, an employer or family.

If you are considering applying for PR, first of all complete a fresh English language test and then contact us as we can assist with the application process including assessment of your qualifications which is required in order to loge an EOI and apply for PR.

5Do I need a Will?

EVERYONE needs a Will, especially more so if you own property. Unless you have a Will which sets out how you wish your assets to be distributed, someone else can make the decisions on your behalf and they may not always have your best interests at heart. A death in the family is tough on all involved, and often division of assets is the last thing on the minds of your loved one.

The best way to safe guard your assets and ensure they are passed on as you would have wanted is to document your wishes in a Will. No one will ever know your wishes or no one can ensure that all your family is looked after or not looked after unless you make a Will.

If you don’t have a Will, it is imperative that you have one prepared as soon as possible. If you require assistance in this regard, we are here to help.

Pervez Rahman

Principal Lawyer and Migraton Agent

03 9791 3394

Areas of Expertise: Property Law, Commercial Law, Banking and Finance Law and Migration Law