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Frequently Asked Questions About Hamilton Island Conveyancing

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about Hamilton Island Conveyancing.

Whether transfer duty applies to your transaction at usual rates depends on the type of property you are buying.  There are some properties on Hamilton Island that don’t attract stamp duty due to the nature of the Sublease.

Title to all property on Hamilton Island (units and land) is leasehold, stemming from a Perpetual Crown Lease from the State of Queensland (the Crown) in favor of Hamilton Island Enterprises Ltd (HIE). This is known as the Head Lease, and perpetual means just that – the lease has no end date, as long as HIE continues to comply with its conditions, such as using Hamilton Island for the right purpose of a tourist destination and paying Crown rent.   Rather than buying Freehold title to the land you will be buying a sublease/sub sublease and a share/s in a management (“body corporate”) company.

Although title to your property (sublease) is not perpetual, it’s long enough for any of us not to worry too much about the expiry date: most initial terms run for up to 100 years.

Individual subleases may contain the right to acquire and use a buggy in which case you will have the right to own and use a buggy on the Island. Generally, even if your sublease doesn’t entitle you to use a buggy, if your purchase contract includes one, it’s assumed that ownership of that buggy will transfer to you at settlement.  Hamilton Island Enterprises has placed a cap on the number of buggies that may be operated on the Island and any buggy that is purchased must be done with the approval of the vehicle coordinator. The buggy must be registered with both Main Roads Queensland and Hamilton Island. 

Hamilton Island Enterprise and its related service company Hamilton Island Services, fill the dual roles of local authority and utility service provider, providing all utility infrastructure and services to all owners such as water, power, sewerage, gas, waste management and roads. As such, subleases typically provide that owners pay: 

✓ Rent under the Sublease – calculated depending on the type of property you buy (villa site or apartment). These are similar to a local council general rate 

✓ Outgoings – an equitable proportion of utility infrastructure charges for the provision of services to all Island residents and users, similar to local council service charges (such as sewerage and garbage levies)

 ✓ Service Charges – for your actual service consumption like water, power and gas 

✓ ‘Body Corporate Company’ levies – where applicable, these are much like admin and sinking fund levies found in a regular community title setting. 

Your sublease will determine what the apartment can be used for.  There are some complexes on the Island which do not allow for holiday letting, they can only be used for permanent rentals for Island staff or owner occupiers. 

These types of contracts tend to have longer periods than a residential contract due to the requirement to obtain consent to the transfer of the Sublease before settlement can take place.  Settlement is triggered a set number of days following consents being obtained.

A sublease or sub sublease can only be transferred with the consent of:

 ✓ the Crown; 

✓ HIE as sub lessor to each sublessee (lot owner);

✓ any mortgagee of HIE registered on HIE’s Head Lease;

✓ Development Company as Sublessee (if applicable) to the transfer of the sub sublease and shares;

The above consents are procedural but crucial for the transfer of clear title, and we will apply for these various consents as part of the transaction process.

Time frames for obtaining consent can vary, but generally it will take between 60 to 90 days.

The above consents are procedural but crucial for the transfer of clear title.  HIE would only deny its consent in extenuating circumstances.