Dealings with leases

Planning legislation provides a definition of dealings with a lease, which means:

  • assign or transfer the lease
  • sublet the land comprised in the lease or part of it or
  • part with possession of the land comprised in the lease or any part of it.

Restrictions on dealings

There are restrictions on dealings in relation to certain leases, including:

  • leases which provide that the lessee cannot deal with the land or part of the land without the consent of the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
  • direct grants (except leases granted to the Territory)
  • leases prescribed by regulation
  • concessional leases and
  • rural leases.

During the restricted period, the lessee or anyone else with an interest in the lease must not deal with the lease without the written consent of the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate.

Assignment or transfer of lease

Where a lease contains a building and development provision (ie. that the land be developed with specified time frames), the lease or an interest in the lease cannot be assigned or transferred, either at law or in equity, unless:

  • the lessee has a certificate of compliance indicating that the building and development conditions have been complied with
  • the lessee has died
  • the transfer or assignment is made in accordance with any certain court orders or
  • the transfer or assignment is a result of bankruptcy or insolvency.

However, the Environment and Planning Directorate may consent to a transfer or assignment if satisfied that:

  • the lessee cannot comply with the building and development provision in the lease for specified personal or financial reasons (financial reasons arising from the lessee's own action and unconnected with the lease, such as spending money on luxery cars or holidays, do not contribute to a valid financial reason)
  • the proposed assignee or transferee intends to comply with the building and development provision, provides the security required for compliance with the provision, and has a contract with the builder proposing to assign or transfer the lease and under the contract, the builder is required to build a home on the leased land for the proposed assignee or transferee, and
  • the transfer is the first sale of an individual lease of undeveloped land by the developer of infrastructure on that land.

In deciding whether to consent, the Environment and Planning Directorate must take into consideration any matters prescribed by regulation.

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