What is a section 173 agreement?
A Section 173 agreement is a legal agreement entered into under section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 in Victoria, Australia. Such agreements are commonly entered into between a local council and a land developer, outlining specific obligations and responsibilities related to the development of a piece of land.
These agreements can cover a wide range of issues, such as the provision of infrastructure and public amenities, the management of environmental impacts, and the payment of contributions towards the cost of infrastructure and community facilities. These agreements are legally binding and enforceable by the council.
Who drafts the section 173 agreement?
A Section 173 agreement is typically drafted by the local council, in consultation with the land developer. The agreement will be based on the provisions of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and any relevant planning scheme or local laws.
The council will also take into consideration any feedback or input provided by the community or other stakeholders. The developer may also hire a lawyer to review and negotiate the agreement on their behalf, to ensure that the developer’s interests are protected and that the agreement is fair and reasonable.
What are the legal costs of a section 173 agreement?
The legal costs associated with a Section 173 agreement can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the development, the size of the land, and the specific provisions of the agreement. In general, the land developer will be responsible for the costs of drafting and negotiating the agreement, as well as any costs associated with fulfilling the obligations outlined in the agreement.
This can include the cost of providing infrastructure and public amenities, as well as the cost of any environmental management measures. The developer may also be required to pay a contribution towards the cost of infrastructure and community facilities.
The developer may also hire a lawyer to review and negotiate the agreement, which will add additional legal fees. Some local councils may also charge an administration fee for processing the agreement.
It’s worth noting that the costs associated with a Section 173 agreement can be substantial, and developers should be aware of these costs when planning and budgeting for a development project.
What does a Section 173 agreement contain?
A Section 173 agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the specific obligations and responsibilities of the land developer and the local council in relation to a development project. The exact contents of the agreement will depend on the nature of the development and the provisions of the relevant planning scheme or local laws. However, some common elements of a Section 173 agreement include:
- A description of the land and the proposed development, including details of the type and number of dwellings, land use, and infrastructure to be provided
- Provisions for the provision of infrastructure and public amenities, such as roads, footpaths, parks, and community facilities
- Requirements for the management of environmental impacts, such as stormwater management, vegetation retention and removal, and the protection of endangered species
- Provisions for the payment of contributions towards the cost of infrastructure and community facilities, such as developer charges or levies
- A timeframe for the completion of the development and any necessary infrastructure and amenities
- Provisions for the monitoring and enforcement of the agreement, including penalties for non-compliance
- Details of the parties involved in the agreement and their respective rights and obligations.
It’s worth noting that a Section 173 agreement is a legally binding document, meaning that all parties must comply with the provisions outlined in the agreement. The agreement is also enforceable by the council, and failure to comply with the agreement can result in fines, penalties, or legal action.
How is a section 173 agreement enforced?
A Section 173 agreement is enforced by the local council in Victoria, Australia, which is responsible for monitoring and enforcing compliance with the provisions outlined in the agreement. The council will typically appoint an officer to monitor compliance and ensure that the developer is meeting their obligations under the agreement.
There are several ways in which a council may enforce a Section 173 agreement, including:
- Regular inspections: The council may conduct regular inspections of the development site to ensure that the developer is complying with the provisions of the agreement.
- Reporting requirements: The developer may be required to submit regular reports to the council, outlining the progress of the development and any issues that have arisen.
- Penalties: The council may impose penalties on the developer for non-compliance with the agreement, such as fines or additional charges.
- Legal action: If the developer fails to comply with the agreement despite repeated warnings and penalties, the council may take legal action to enforce compliance.
It’s important to note that the developer also has the right to seek legal remedy if council not fulfilling their obligations under the agreement.
It’s important for both parties to be aware of their rights and obligations under the agreement and to work together to ensure that the development is carried out in accordance with the agreement.
Can a section 173 agreement be registered on a property title?
Yes, a Section 173 agreement can be registered on a property title in Victoria, Australia. This registration process is typically carried out by the local council, which is responsible for ensuring that the agreement is binding on the land. Once registered, the agreement becomes a legal encumbrance on the property title and is binding on all future owners of the land.
The registration process involves lodging a copy of the agreement with the Victorian Land Registry, where it becomes a public record. Once registered, the agreement is enforceable by the council and any subsequent owners of the land must comply with the terms and conditions outlined in the agreement. This registration ensures that the developer’s obligations as per the agreement will continue to be binding on the land even if the land is sold to someone else.
It’s worth noting that a Section 173 agreement can also be registered on a property title as a covenant, which are legally binding agreements that run with the land and are enforceable by the council or any other party with an interest in the land.
It’s important for developers to understand that a Section 173 agreement will be registered on the title and that any future owners of the land will be bound by the terms of the agreement. This should be considered when purchasing land that is subject to a Section 173 agreement.
Need assistance drafting a Section 173 Agreement? Contact our team on (03) 8590 8370 to obtain legal advice from our expert property lawyers and conveyancers.
This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.