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A property purchaser has the right to Nominate someone else as the owner on the title.

What is a Nomination, and what does and or Nominee mean?

The purchaser of a property doesn't have to actually own it. They can "nominate" someone else to be the owner on the title.

Anyone who signs a contract to purchase a residential property in Victoria automatically has a right to nominate someone else to become the new owner of the property on the title. Nominations are common, such as when a couple intends to own the property but one person couldn't attend the auction to sign the contract, or the purchaser decides that a company will actually own the property on the title instead of an individual person.

Traditionally the words and/or nominee were included after the name of the purchaser when they signed the contract, but this is not required anymore because the purchaser has an automatic legal right to nominate a substitute transferee (a new incoming owner). This legal right was built into the standard general conditions of every Victorian contract a few years ago, but many real estate agents will still include the and/or nominee wording in the contract after the purchaser's name, even though this is not legally necessary.

There can be special conditions in the contract that restrict the time to make a Nomination (such as within 14-21 days prior to the settlement date), and that also require a fee to be paid to the vendor's conveyancer if a Nomination is made. The fee can often be around $300 and sometimes as high as $600 + GST (read the fine print in the special conditions!), but this fee can easily be avoided by simply not nominating, and by ensuring whoever signs the contract actually becomes the new owner of the property on the title after settlement.

To avoid getting stung by nasty Nomination special conditions, always get a contract legally reviewed before you sign it.

Note: the above is general information and should not be considered as legal advice.

Photo by Thirdman

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