Buyer and tenant beware — registration of leases in Western Australia

‘Buyer beware’ has long been a catch cry in the real-estate industry. The old saying still rings true and has been reinforced by a recent decision of the Supreme Court of Western Australia to the extent that, in the sale of commercial property, the phrase should be ‘buyer and tenant beware.’

In essence, the court has endorsed the view that any unregistered lease of more than five years is ‘destroyed’ upon the new owner becoming the registered proprietor of the land. The implication is that either the tenant or the new owner could give notice and walk away once the transfer of land has occurred…

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