The Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding Regime

Published by REIWA


The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has a withholding regime that attempts to ensure people, who are deemed foreign residents, and sell property are paying their capital gains tax obligations prior to the proceeds  from the sale being moved off-shore.


What property sales are affected?

All transactions where the purchase price is $750,000 or more.


What do sellers have to do prior to settlement?

  • Sellers (individuals and companies) must apply to the ATO for a Clearance Certificate.
  • Give the Clearance Certificate to the buyer and their conveyancer/settlement agent prior to settlement.


What does the ATO do?

  • The ATO will determine  if the seller is deemed  a foreign resident.
  • The ATO should issue a Clearance Certificate to all applicants who are not foreign residents.

Please note: REIWA understands that there may be delays in the ATO issuing a Clearance Certificate if there are outstanding taxation returns or other unresolved matters with the ATO.


What does the buyer do if a Clearance Certificate is received prior to settlement?

  • The buyer will give the Clearance Certificate to their conveyancer / settlement agent.
  • The buyer, at settlement, will not withhold any money.


What does the buyer do if a Clearance Certificate is not received prior to settlement?

  • The buyer will notify their conveyancer / settlement agent that a Clearance Certificate was not received.
  • The buyer at settlement must withhold 12.5 per cent of the purchase price.
  • The buyer at settlement must pay the 12.5 per cent of the purchase price to the ATO.


What does the seller do if they are not issued with a Clearance Certificate and the ATO receives 12.5 per cent?

When the seller submits their tax return, the ATO will assess any capital  gains tax liability.


Can the seller delay settlement if the Clearance Certificate has not been received?

Only through agreement between the buyer and the seller.


How to apply?

To apply for a Clearance Certificate or for more information,  visit: and search for: Impacts on foreign and Australian residents.


Download REIWA’s Sellers Guide here  – 

foreign resident capital gains withholding regime – sellers guide


How to Attract and Keep Quality Tenants

For many landlords, finding high quality tenants is like striking gold. It’s not an easy thing to do but when you’re successful you continue to enjoy the benefits for years to come. Finding quality tenants is only half the challenge though. You also have to keep them, otherwise you’ll find yourself back at square one. If you want an investment property that offers less stress but more profit, then consistent and reliable tenants are key. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a range of strategies to help you in your quest. 

Appearance is Everything

When it comes to renting, appearance is important – and we’re not talking about potential tenants. We’re talking about your property. If your rental home looks dilapidated, damaged or is in disrepair then it’s not likely to attract long term tenants. If necessary, apply a fresh coat of paint, repot the flowers in the garden and give the lawn a good mow. 

After you’ve addressed the first impressions, turn to the inside. Are your appliances out of date? Is the furniture beyond repair? Addressing little things like this can help to seal the deal with a reliable tenant and it could even let you raise the rent too. 

Invest in Advertising

Sometimes you have to put yourself in the tenant’s shoes and ask yourself, what would they want? Effective advertising isn’t just about letting tenants know that you’re renting, it’s also about showing off you’re property’s most attractive features. 

Are you in the perfect area for families or is your kitchen the definition of modern living? Whatever it is you have to show off, make sure its front and centre in any advertising you do. 

Become a Scrupulous Screener

The other side of finding the perfect tenant is, of course, making sure you don’t let the wrong ones in. Always check for past evictions, poor credit scores and large debts. Police checks are also an effective way to determine the nature of your tenants. 

Other things to do include asking for professional references and keeping an open mind. Your perfect tenant might look completely different to what you had in mind. 

Keep on Top of Repairs

Making sure your property looks good at the outset is one thing, but keeping it in that condition is the key to retaining tenants. When a tenant informs you that something is broken, fix it quickly. 

Also perform regular maintenance, even when things are in perfect working order. These little things can help you to maintain strong relationships, while also saving you money and adding convenience for occupants. 

If you need a bit of extra help with tenant management, an expert property manager could be perfect for you. At Jones Ballard, we are property managers in Perth, with years of real estate experience. From finding the perfect tenant to taking care of maintenance, our team does it all.

Seven Steps to Being a Successful Landlord

For many people, investing in property will be one of the best decisions that they make. It is an opportunity to diversify your portfolio, an easy way to earn some extra money and a great little nest egg for the future. Unfortunately, managing an investment property can also be a stressful process, especially when it comes to dealing with tenants. 

The good news is, it’s easier to be a good landlord than many people think. You just have to make sure that you follow a few steps that are sure to lead to success. 

  1. Read Up on Your Legal Rights

There are a range of rights and responsibilities that you inherit when you become a landlord. These differ from state to state but, generally, you’re responsible for making sure your property is safe. This applies not only to the structure itself but any appliances that come with the house. This makes regular maintenance an important part of a landlord’s job. 

  1. Think of Yourself as a Business Owner

The main difference between a business and a hobby is that the latter can generally fall away at any time without any real consequences. If you stop playing guitar after two weeks, it’s not the end of the world, but losing focus as a landlord can be calamitous. 

Treating your investment as a business means strong communication, documentation and organisation. 

  1. Screen Every Potential Tenant

In the rush to get a tenant into their home, landlords can fall into the trap of letting in the wrong person. In these cases, the money you thought you saved in quickly finding a tenant will go out the window when they fail to pay rent and even damage your property. 

Things to look for when interviewing tenants include recent evictions, a strong stable income and even references from old landlords. All of these things point towards a positive experience for you and them. 

  1. Care for Your Tenants (but don’t be too nice)!

Just like you want a good deal out of your rental property, so do tenants. Most of the time they just want a place to live without too many complications. Make sure your property is always looking its best and deal with any queries or complications that tenants face promptly. 

Treat your tenants with respect but always make sure they still know the rules. Being too nice to tenants can lead to them taking advantage of you in terms of rent deadlines and other situations. 

  1. Always be Transparent

When you’re a landlord you will invariably know things about a property that a potential tenant won’t. Sometimes these are good things that you should highlight as selling points but sometimes they’re not so good things – like a history of pests, past plumbing problems or something similar. 

Don’t hide anything as a landlord, but instead inform tenants of past issues and reassure them that they have been resolved and that they will be resolved again, should they reoccur. 

  1. Get Landlords Insurance

No investment is without risk and it’s important to protect your property in all circumstances. Safeguards like a bond and home and contents insurance are a good start, but landlords insurance will cover you even further. 

  1. Employ a Trusted Property Manager

For just a small percentage of your rent, you can employ a property management team to deal with every aspect of being a landlord. Property managers are generally real estate experts and they do more than just take care of potential headaches. Taking care of everything from inspections to finding tenants, a property manager can even improve the returns you’re getting on your investment.

So there you have it, seven great tips for becoming a fantastic landlord. If you are looking for a property manager in Perth, contact the team at Jones Ballard. We can find you fantastic tenants and help you to keep them too. Call 08 9474 1533 or submit our enquiry form today.

Six Things to Do Before Buying a House

Finding your dream home or ideal investment property can be an emotional time, even for the most experienced buyer. You might be excited about the places the children will play, your interior decoration plans or the potential for a lifelong investment strategy. But before you let your mind wonder – and long before you take those keys – stop to think about the things you need to do. 

To ensure that your perfect property doesn’t turn into a perfect nightmare, make sure you follow these important steps before making a purchase. 

  1. Get the Power of Pre-Approval

Money is one of the most important parts of buying property. While budgeting is important it’s your home loan that will make or break you. When searching for a home loan, try and find a financial institution that will grant you pre-approval. 

A pre-approved home loan not only makes you look more serious in the vendor’s eyes, it can also give you the confidence and flexibility to commit to a purchase. There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect home only to realise you can’t commit to it. 

  1. Find a Legal Representative

One of the most forgotten aspects of buying a home has to be the legal side of things. There are a lot of documents and legal contracts involved in property transfer, so you will need the help of a conveyancer or a solicitor. It’s best to track these people down before you’ve even started looking at houses. That way they can be there for you when it comes to reviewing contracts and settling the sale. 

  1. Talk to Everyone!

When you attend open houses and auctions make sure you get the inside word on your properties. The best way to do this is to talk to everyone involved in the process and even some people who aren’t! 

Attend practice auctions and talk to the auctioneer and have a chat to agents and vendors at open houses. While these people are usually acting for the seller, you can sometimes get some interesting information out of them. If the neighbours are around, have a chat to them too. No one knows more about a property than nosy neighbours! 

  1. Keep an Eye on the Tenants

Buying an investment property with an existing tenant can seem like a dream come true. Not only have you got the property locked away, you can also start benefiting straight away. 

Just make sure that bad tenants aren’t the reason that the seller is moving on. Check for breaches and make sure that they pay their rent on time. 

  1. Get All the Inspections

Looks can be deceiving. Just because a property looks perfect, it doesn’t mean it’s without its problems. Sometimes a seller will even cover up potential problems with a coat of paint or a quick clean. 

Building and pest inspections are an easy way to avoid hidden complications. They might cost a bit of money upfront, but they’ll be worth it for the peace of mind that costly damages aren’t hidden below the surface. 

  1. Ensure You’re Looking in Growth Areas

Whether it’s an investment property or a place to live, you want your bricks and mortar to go up in value. Location is one of the main factors that determines this, so make sure you’re looking in an area that is trending towards growth. 

If you’re looking to buy property in Perth, get the inside word from an expert real estate team. Jones Ballard can point you in the right direction, whether you’re looking for an investment or a place to call home. Call our team on 08 9474 1533 or complete our online enquiry form.

Six Essential Steps to Buying Property

For first home buyers and experienced professionals alike, buying property is an important and exciting decision. It might represent your first family home or maybe it’s the key to your investment success. Whatever you’re buying a property for, there are a range of steps that you need to take to ensure success. This starts before you’ve even found the home of your dreams and doesn’t end until after you’ve signed on those dotted lines. Here are 6 essential steps to buying a property. 

  1. Organise Your Finances

Organising your finances is one of the most essential steps in buying a property. This is something that you should take care of once you’ve decided to buy, but before you’ve found a specific property. 

You’ll want to organise a home loan with your bank or financial institution. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal for you and if you can, secure a pre-approved loan. This will show sellers that you mean business. 

  1. Find the Perfect Property

There are a number of ways to find your dream home, and the best way to track it down will depend on what you need it for. 

Searching property listings, both online and in newspapers is a great place to start but it’s also a good idea to attend auctions, open houses and other similar events. Be sure to look for the factors that are most important to you and also keep an eye out for the general condition of any property you’re looking at. 

  1. Engage Legal Assistance

Once you’ve started looking for a home, it’s a good idea to start talking to solicitors and conveyancers. These property experts can take care of all the legal aspects involved in your purchase and ensure that contracts are written in a fair and reasonable way. Depending on the way you buy, you will have more or less time to examine a contract so it’s important to have your legal representatives ready to act. 

  1. Professional Inspections

You can have a property checked for a wide variety of details, from its overall structure to the electrical work and plumbing. It’s always important to organise inspections before a sale is finalised. When you buy at an auction, for example, the settlement is finalised on the same day and there is no time for any of these checks. 

  1. Making the Purchase

Once you’ve found that perfect property you can make an offer. Depending on how the property is being sold, there are various ways to go about this. 

At an auction you have to outbid other potential buyers on the day while written offers can be made directly to the vendor in the case of private sales. 

After you have been successful, you will have to pay the deposit (usually around 10 percent of the price) and you may or may not be entitled to a cooling off period where you can withdraw your offer. 

  1. Settlement

After all the contracts are signed, there is a period of around eight weeks where all the legal documents are checked. Your solicitor or conveyancer will guide you through this process. After settlement has been finalised you are the legal owner of the property and you will have three months to pay your stamp duty. 

If you’re looking to buy property in Perth, the real estate experts at Jones Ballard can help you find the perfect home. Call our team on 08 9474 1533 or complete our online enquiry form.

Four Ways to Sell a Home that You Need to Know

So you’ve decided to sell your house – congratulations! Deciding to sell can be a great financial decision let alone a strong life decision. Selling gives you the freedom to upgrade or downgrade and move into an exciting new phase in your life. 

There’s more than one way to sell a home and some methods will be more appropriate for you than others. Fortunately, making this decision doesn’t have to be stressful. We’ve compiled a list of four major ways to sell your home and some reasons why you might want to consider them. 

  1. Sale by Private Treaty

Sale by private treaty is the method of sale when you put up that “for sale” sign and you invite offers from prospective purchasers. Sale by private treaty remains one of the most popular ways to put your home on the market. 

Generally speaking, sale by private treaty gives the seller the time and flexibility to consider a wide range of offers. While your home is on the market you can vary its price and you are given time to examine each offer from potential purchasers. Your real estate team can be of great benefit to you here, providing advice and assisting you with amending details of your sale.  

  1. Price Range Selling

Price range selling is more or less what it sounds like – a method of sale where a range is offered instead of a set price. This allows you to examine the market value of your property and set a range that is just below that price at the low end and above it at the high end. 

Price range selling can create activity and interest in your property, with potential buyers interested in the attractive lower end price. The theory is that this activity will prompt purchasers to buy at the higher range to ward off potential competition. 

  1. Sale by Auction

One of the most well-known ways to sell your property, an auction’s aim is to create a sense of urgency in buyers that drives up the price and creates success for sellers. After advertising the event, an auctioneer runs the day, pitting potential purchasers against each other. 

Auctions are ideal for sellers who want quicker settlements but they are also protected by the reserve price – a minimum price that your property needs to reach before you will sell. 

  1. The Expressions of Interest or “BestBID” System

This marketing system was designed and is used exclusively by the real estate experts at Jones Ballard Property Group. This hybrid approach combines the benefits of private treaty and auction-style sales to achieve the best result for the seller. 

While the BestBID system gives potential buyers plenty of time to view the property – there are up to eight Home Opens during a 21 day period – it also encourages a sense of urgency in buyers by creating a time limit that encourages them to act quickly. If you want to learn more about the benefits of this system, explore the BestBID page on the Jones Ballard website. 

So there you have it, four great ways to sell your home. If you’re looking to sell in Perth, our real estate team at Jones Ballard can guide you in your decision, and even take care of the marketing that promotes sales success. Call us now on 08 9474 1533 or complete our online enquiry form.

Selling Property at Auction – the Benefits

When it comes time to make major financial decisions, people want to explore all of their options. When we’re buying a new appliance, we’ll shop around for the best price and when we’re looking for a new car, we make decisions about financing. 

Selling property involves one of the largest financial transactions that many of us will ever face, so understanding our options is important here too. One of the more popular strategies for selling property is going to an auction. Today we’re going to explore all the ins and outs of auctions, and determine all the major benefits that they present to sellers. 

Why Choose Auctions?

Before examining the major advantages of auctions, let’s examine the process itself to understand why a real estate agent might suggest one for you. 

The best method for selling your property will depend on a number of things. These include the kind of property you own, its location and current market conditions. An auction might be right for you if you want to create a sense of urgency in buyers, or streamline the negotiation process. 

Generally, auctions will take place under the following conditions: 

  1. An auctioneer is hired – either by you or your estate agent – and they conduct the entire process
  2. The details of your auction are advertised so that bidders can come and compete for the sale
  3. The house is sold to the highest bidder, assuming that your reserve price – the minimum amount you will accept – has been reached (or hopefully exceeded!)
  4. If the reserve price isn’t met, the property is ‘passed in’

Now that we know how the process works, let’s examine some of the major advantages of auctions. 

Value isn’t Black and White

When it comes to auctions, mystery can be one of your biggest advantages as a seller. In auction situations, potential buyers aren’t made completely aware of your price expectations. This means there is no perceived ceiling on the value of your property and it also makes it more difficult to compare with other properties in the area. Coupled with the competitive nature and sense of urgency that auctions create, this can be a powerful way to get the most value out of your property. 

The Reserve Price Protects You

At auctions, the reserve price acts as a sort of security blanket, allowing you to set a realistic minimum target. You can work hand in hand with your estate agent to set this price, and it is usually determined through research that is gathered during open houses. 

You Control Your Spending

Marketing your property is one of the major factors in achieving success on auction day. When it comes to auctions, you can control how much or how little money you want to put into your advertising. Simply consult with your expert estate agents to determine the best marketing plan for you.

Other Major Benefits

The advantages of auctions don’t stop there. Consider these quick points too: 

  • Early sales can occur when buyers detect strong competition
  • Contracts of sale are usually ‘unconditional’, meaning a fast settlement for you
  • Homes that stand out from the crowd in some way usually thrive in the auction environment

If you’re looking to auction your property in Perth or you’re not sure of the best method for your home, contact the real estate experts at Jones Ballard. As your local property experts, we can transform homes for sale into financial successes for buyers. Call 08 9474 1533 or complete our online enquiry form.