A Section 173 Agreement is a restriction placed on a piece of land, creating a contract between a landowner and the Council and is in accordance with Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. A Council or another responsible authority can negotiate the terms of such agreement with an owner of the land. This agreement then passes with the title to the property to subsequent owners. Such agreement may set out conditions or restrictions to the use or development of the land, or may also be put in place to achieve planning objections for the particular area you land is located within.
Section 173 Agreements are of particular interest to a buyer if they are purchasing with the intention to subdivide the land. Buying a piece of land with the hopes of subdivision is an exciting and potentially financially prosperous venture many individuals desire to undertake. However, it is important for prospective developers to understand the restrictions placed on them during this process.
The agreement can be preexisting and binding on the purchaser of the land. It can also be a requirement for an existing owner to enter and negotiate upon before subdivision. A Section 173 Agreement can be used to enforce restrictions on the development or activities undertaken on land. When acquiring a permit, a landowner may also be required to enter into a Section 173 agreement which places continuing restrictions on the use and development of such land to guide and form the character of a neighbourhood.
Common restrictions that can be found on Section 173 Agreements are:
- The prohibition, restriction or regulation of the use or development of land
- Conditions subject to which the land may be used or developed for specified purposes
- Any matter intended to achieve or advance the objectives for planning in Victoria under the planning scheme or an amendment
- Making monetary contributions for road construction
- Landscaping requirements
- Restriction on certain flora and fauna
Negotiating the terms of an existing agreement is a process that is achieved through applications to the relevant Council. Each council may have a unique process for the amendment of the agreement, and in certain circumstances where an agreement cannot be made, you can seek a review of the decision, usually done through VCAT.
Engaging ASAP Lawyers for a Section 173 matter
If you are planning on subdividing or entering into a Section 173 Agreement, our highly skilled team may be able to assist you. Your council may or may not provide you with a template for the agreement. If no template is provided, the use of lawyers skilled in property matters can alleviate stress and reduce the financial burden these matters can inflict. We are able to assist with drafting and negotiating the terms of your agreement to achieve the best results. Where a template is provided, we can also offer support in reviewing and guiding you through the process.
Additionally, if you plan to purchase a property which is subject to an existing Section 173 Agreement, we may advise you on its implications on your land ownership.