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Frequently Asked Questions About Marina Berth

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about Marina Berth.

Title to all marina berths is leasehold, stemming from a Perpetual Crown Lease from the State of Queensland (the Crown) in favor of the Marina. This is known as the Head Lease, and perpetual means just that – the lease has no end date, as long as the Marina continues to comply with its conditions.   Rather than buying Freehold title to the land you will be buying a sublease/sub sublease.

A sublease or sub sublease can only be transferred with the consent of the marina and any of their mortgagees. These 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. You are normally liable for the fees for seeking the consent under the contract (such as the marina’s legal fees) so it is important to bear this in mind when considering your immediate cash flow.

These types of contracts tend to have longer settlement periods 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.

Whether transfer duty applies to your transaction at usual rates depends on the type of berth you are buying.  There are some berth that don’t attract stamp duty due to them being ‘Fresh Grants’ or newly created interests.

The marina fits the role of utility service provider, providing all utility infrastructure and services to all berth owners such as water and power. As such, subleases typically provide that owners pay:

  • Outgoings – an equitable proportion of utility infrastructure charges for the provision of services 
  • Marina berth levies – where applicable, these are much like admin and sinking fund levies found in a regular community title setting.

Your sublease terms will determine what the berth can be used for.  Typically, these terms allow for you to sublet your berth out to a tenant.

If there is currently a tenant in the berth you are buying, you are required to honour that tenancy arrangement on the terms and conditions already arranged. You must either agree with the tenant for the tenancy to come to an end, or provide the sufficient notice to terminate as required under the tenancy agreement.

Although title to your property (sublease) is not permanent, 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 (expiring in 2100).

This will depend on the marina and the sublease terms, however, as standard most marinas require the boat contained within the berth to have its own insurance. You may also need the berth to be insured even if there is no boat in it. This insurance is a berth public liability policy.

Call PD LAW to discuss the process and how we can help you.