Property

By 2009, it was generally believed that the Property Law Act 1958 had become a cumbersome document, difficult to navigate, complicated by numberless amendments, and containing references to outdated concepts and practices. It needed to be streamlined and brought up to date.

The review the Commission was asked to undertake that year divided into two projects: a review of the Property Law Act itself and a specific review of easements and covenants.

Associate Professor Pamela O'Connor from Monash University was appointed a part-time Commissioner to oversee both projects.

Review of the Property Law Act 1958

Following an initial research period into the current practice of the Property Law Act, in April 2010 the Commission produced a consultation paper and called for public submissions. Nineteen were received to add to the inquiry's consultations with legal practitioners, judges, academics, surveyors, government officials, VCAT members and other key stakeholders. A consultative committee was also formed of property law academics and practitioners, including Land Victoria, the Department of Planning and Community Development, and senior judges. 

Out of the extensive consultative process came a final report, tabled in Parliament on 29 October 2010, which made 58 recommendations calling for an overhaul of the law, the first for 82 years. 

Easements and covenants

The second stage of the Commission’s review of Victoria’s property laws dealt with easements and covenants. An easement is a right to make use of someone’s land without occupying it, while a restrictive covenant limits what can be done on or with the land if it is sold or transferred. 

After initial research, a consultation paper was published in July 2010 and a call for submission received 35 responses.

A similarly wide-ranging consultative process led to a final report, tabled in Parliament on 3 May 2011. In it, the Commission made 48 recommendations to simplify and clarify the law, reduce costs, improve access to justice and make it easier for landowners to know their rights and obligations. 

Follow the links below to the final report, terms of reference, consultation paper and received submissions.

Timeline

Current: Table in parliament

Full timeline:

Reference
Consultation
Submissions
Final report
Tabled in parliament
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Project Publications

Easements and Covenants: Final Report

Tabled in parliament on 3 May 2011, the Commission's Easements and Covenants: Final Report made 47 recommendations. PDFs of the full report and...

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Property Law Act 1958: Final Report

Tabled on 29 October 2010, the Commission's Review of the Property Law Act 1958: Final Report made 58 recommendations.  PDFs of the full report and...

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Easements and Covenants: Recommendations

In its report on easements and covernants, published in December 2010, the Victorian Law Reform Commission made 47 recommendations.  1. Purpose and...

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Property Law Act 1958: Recommendations

In its final report on the Property Law Act 1958 published in September 2010, the Commission made 58 recommendations in seven areas of property law...

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Easements and Covenants: Received Submissions

The Commission received 35 submissions to its review of Easements and Covenants and those below are published with the permission of those who...

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Review of the Property Law Act 1958: Received Submissions

The Commission received 19 submissions to its Property Law Act 1958 Consultation Paper and those below are published with the permission of those who...

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Easements and Covenants: Consultation Paper

Released in July 2010, this consultation paper reviews the law of easements and covenants in Victoria, asks a series of questions and puts forward...

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Property Law Act 1958: Consultation Paper

Released in April 2010, this consultation paper reviews the Property Law Act 1958, asks a series of questions and puts forward some options for...

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Property: Terms of Reference

In August 2009, the Attorney-General asked the Commission to review Victoria's Property laws under the following terms of reference: 1)  The...

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