Property Dispute Lawyers Brisbane

Property Disputes

Many legal transactions involve property, and disputes between parties often involve property. Therefore, property law disputes occur regularly and often involve a party’s real property, or a party’s interests in land. Ownership of real property and access to business premises may be critical to a party’s business relationships and the conduct of a party’s business.

Property and property rights are important parts of private and business life and property disputes can seriously disrupt people’s lives and their businesses.

Unfortunately, property disputes are inevitable, and the outcome of a property dispute can have serious consequences for the parties in the dispute.

Brisbane property dispute lawyers face an almost limitless range or types of property disputes. These include:

  • Boundary disputes or the disputes involving an encroachment. For example, in one recent dispute, Morgan Mac Lawyers acted for a client in a dispute involving a structure built by the tenants of the adjoining land that intruded over the boundary on to our client’s property;
  • The lodgement of a caveat to protect an interest in a property. This is a step often taken by property dispute lawyers. Interests in properties are not always registered with Titles Queensland. Often a party has an unregistered right or interest in a property. If the right or interest is not registered, there is a risk that the property may be sold to an innocent third party, which defeats the unregistered interest of the aggrieved party. Until a dispute is resolved by negotiation or by the Court, the party with the unregistered interest should protect its interest by lodging a caveat.
  • Financial institutions seeking to sell a property as mortgages in possession. There may be a genuine dispute between the customer who owns the land and the financial institution. The customer should seek urgent advice from property and land dispute lawyers about what they should do to protect their rights. Financial institutions are not obliged to obtain the best price or the price the customer would seek if the customer sold the property.
  • Disputes about whether there is an enforceable contract in relation to the sale or lease of property. Unfortunately, contracts may not have been drafted by property lawyers and there may be something lacking that makes the contract unenforceable. It may be that the contract is unenforceable because it was not prepared by a property lawyer or because parties entered into a verbal agreement when a written agreement was required. The party with an unenforceable contract that it cannot rely upon may have other remedies. Advice should be obtained in such circumstances as soon as possible from a property and Brisbane land disputes lawyer.
  • There may be more than one contract for sale for the same property. Morgan Mac Lawyers recently acted in a dispute in which our client signed a contract for a property after the seller had sought to terminate an earlier contract with another buyer. The earlier first buyer denied that the contract for the sale of the property to it had been validly terminated by the seller. Our client and the first buyer were both seeking to complete their respective property contracts of sale but only one contract could be completed. This dispute involved complex issues. It is important to seek advice from property dispute lawyers as soon as possible when you become involved in a property dispute.
  • Disputes may occur in circumstances in which a party builds or pays for a structure to be built on a property because of promises made by the registered owner of the property and then the party, after building structures or paying for structures to be built on the property, is asked by the registered owner to leave the property. The registered owner of the property may seek to keep the benefit of the structure or dwelling built on the property even though it was paid for or built by the aggrieved party. Although the party who built the structure is not the owner of the land, they may have what is called equitable rights to the property and should seek legal advice from a property dispute lawyer in Brisbane.

Property disputes in Australia

Australian property law disputes can be very complex and involve competing interests in the same land, or a challenge to the indefeasibility of a registered interest. The consequences of a property dispute may be very serious to a party’s interest. For example, a party may be at risk of being excluded from its business premises because of an alleged breach of the terms of a lease, or a mortgagee may have entered into possession of a property in order to sell the property even though the mortgagor does not want to lose the property.

Australian property law disputes do not only involve registered interests in land such as freehold title, mortgages and leases, but also interests described as equitable interests or the rights of beneficiaries of land held on trust.

Bill Morgan recently acted in a dispute between a lender and a borrower in which our client, the borrower, sought to prevent the lender from taking possession of the property over which the lender had a mortgage. Our client alleged that the lender had acted unconscionably under the Australian Investments and Securities Commission Act. Borrowers should consider the availability of a statutory unconscionability defence or claim if they believe the bank has acted against conscience in their dealings with them.

Beneficiary under a fixed trust

If you are a beneficiary under a fixed trust, a unit trust or a discretionary trust and you believe that the trustee is not acting in your best interests, you should seek legal advice about your rights.

There are circumstances in which a party may contribute and advance monies to acquire or improve a property registered in another party’s name and not their own name, or a party may invest monies for a specific purpose but the purpose is not fulfilled and a property ends up being purchased in another party’s name and not the first party’s name. If you find yourself in such circumstances, whether or not the property was registered in the other party’s name by consent or behind your back you may have rights in respect of the property and remedies available to you in Court. If you face such circumstances, then we have the experience to assist you to enforce your rights.

It is not unreasonable for you to be concerned in situations where property purchased in another party’s name using your money could then be sold or mortgaged, putting at risk your rights over the property. You may need to take urgent action to lodge a caveat or obtain an order from the Court preventing any further dealings in the property until the Court makes final orders about your rights.

Disputes between landlords and lessees

Bill Morgan, our property dispute specialist and commercial litigation lawyer in Brisbane, has acted in a number of disputes between landlords and lessees, mortgagors and mortgagees, co-owners of land, and sellers and buyers of land. He has acted for clients who invested monies in property registered in another party’s name and in matters involving a breach of trust. He has acted in major commercial litigation in which his client obtained a freezing order to freeze dealings in a property in which his client invested a very large sum of money but which was registered in another party’s name.


bill morgan litigation lawyer brisbane

Bill Morgan.



Speak to our Experienced Commercial Litigation Lawyers in Brisbane