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What is a Section 173 Agreement?

by | Jun 23, 2022 | Conveyancing & Property

You may have heard of Section 173 Agreements in the course of your property dealings but, you may not have considered what these agreements are actually about.

A Section 173 Agreement is essentially a contract between a municipal council and a registered proprietor formed under section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 to impose conditions or restrictions on how the property can be used or developed or otherwise deal with any matter which is desirable to advance planning objectives.  The obligations can include structures for payment of development contributions as well as the use and development of land itself.

As these agreements are registered on Title, the obligations under them continue with the property and bind current and future owners and occupiers.

Agreements can be entered into with an incoming proprietor or a prospective purchaser, in anticipation of the person becoming registered on Title.

Why is an agreement required?

An agreement is generally a requirement of a condition on a planning permit and will specify what you can or cannot do on the property.

An agreement can be used by a Council to restrict or regulate development, protect or repair vegetation, protect heritage areas, prevent subdivision of land or even deal with matters required by other authorities such as a water authority.

Can you vary or end an agreement?

An agreement is a contract that when entered into, must be agreed between all parties and should a party wish to amend or remove an agreement, either all of the parties affected will need to agree or you can apply to the relevant council and in the event they are not prepared to consent, you can seek review by VCAT.

It is usually best to incorporate terms which provide for the expiry of the obligations in the agreement itself.

How can Nevett Ford assist?

Section 173 Agreements are a legally binding agreement between the council and registered proprietor.  If you have been advised by council that an agreement is required or, should you be purchasing a property subject to an agreement, legal advice is necessary.

Nevett Ford have been able to assist their clients with the preparation of Section 173 Agreements and can also assist with the negotiation or amendment of terms.  We can also assist should your request for amendment has been refused by council.  For further information, please contact our Property Team on +61 3 9614 7111 or email us at melbourne@nevettford.com.au.