Property law 101

9th August 2022

Property law is an all-encompassing term that includes a wide range of legal areas. In this article, we’ll touch on the legal areas we specialise in as a firm.

At Lakis & Knight, our services cover a wide range of disciplines, but we often work with commercial landlords and tenants across aspects of property law.

Acquisitions and sales

The transfer of commercial and industrial properties can be a little more complicated than residential properties, which is why it’s important to have expert legal advice on your side.

If you’re looking to purchase a commercial property, we help you assess the property by reviewing and compiling documentation related to the following:

  • Certificate of Title – ensuring the integrity of this document for the legal transfer of ownership.
  • Restrictions on Sale – assessing any caveats to the sale, such as pre-emptive rights for tenants.
  • Leasing considerations – locating and reviewing any existing leasing documentation.
  • Management structure – establishing the status of management structures and processes i.e., checking contracts, establishing your brand names, confirming details of your insurance.
  • Physical assets and condition of the building or buildings.

Planning, licensing and environmental concerns – assessing things such as zoning limits or planned works.


We represent both tenants and owners of commercial and industrial properties in establishing, reviewing, negotiating, and managing documentation for their leases. Again, commercial properties have all kinds of considerations when it comes to leases when compared with residential properties. A commercial lease is typically long-term, with a business wanting security of a physical building, so we provide legal services to ensure all parties have access to key information. That way you can help avoid disputes down the track.

Property law disputes

Some of the most common property law disputes we help our clients resolve include:

  • rental increase negotiations
  • property damage disputes, and
  • rental arrears.

Having a legal expert by your side helps you identify responsibilities of both the tenant and landlord within a contract – not to mention potentially avoid lengthy and expensive legal disputes. A legal expert can be an impartial voice for your negotiations and has a thorough knowledge of relevant state and federal property laws that might apply to your situation.

Supreme Court litigation

Occasionally, property disputes will go as far as the Supreme Court. For instance, in late 2021, a case in the Victorian Supreme Court to ‘material changes’ in an off-the-plan development had significant impacts on developers. Supreme Court results can have wide-ranging effects on industries, from builders, developers and trades right through to landlords and tenants.

Cases typically get to the Supreme Court when they’re legally complex. Commercial and industrial matters related to property law can quickly get complex, especially where responsibilities of different parties are concerned. This is where a legal firm such as Lakis & Knight can provide expert advice and representation.

Residential law

While Lakis & Knight does not provide conveyancing services for residential property owners, we do provide legal services for a variety of issues linked to relevant property laws. For instance, this might be in representing tenants or landlords in a dispute about damage to a residential property.

Whether you’re a landlord or tenant for a commercial or residential property, get in touch with us today for expert advice and representation.