Property Law Act 1958 – Review
Tabled in Parliament Date:
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become a cumbersome document, difficult to navigate, complicated by numberless amendments, and containing references to outdated concepts and practices.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.
- Terms of reference received
- Submissions and consultations
- Submissions closed
- Final Report
- Tabled in parliament