The Weekly FAQ: advice on downsizing, agents and mould problems

By Samantha Thorne

Downsizing and capital gains tax

Q: The profit on the sale of our jointly owned home is CGT free. We want to downsize and if we buy another property jointly as our primary residence how long have we got to sell our old home before we lose the CGT free benefit? - Ramesh

A: Hey Ramesh, in regards to CTG the ATO says:

If you acquire a new home before you dispose of your old one, both dwellings are treated as your main residence for up to six months if:

  • You lived in your old home and it was your main residence for a continuous period of at least three months in the 12 months before you disposed of it
  •  You did not use it to produce assessable income (such as rent) in any part of that 12 months when it was not your main residence
  • You did not use it to produce assessable income (such as rent) in any part of that 12 months when it was not your main residence

So if you sell your old home within six months of acquiring the new one, both dwellings are exempt for the whole period between when you acquire the new one and dispose of the old one.

Find out more about capital gains here.

Using more than one agent to sell my property

Q: Can you list your property for sale with various agents at the same time. Why do you have to select one agent? - Brent

listing with multiple agents

A: Hey Brent, you can absolutely list your property for sale with various agents. To do this you would need to get whats called an open listing agreement.

An open listing agreement essentially means the responsibility of selling your property is distributed across multiple agents. When the property sells, the commission is only paid to the agent who brought in the buyer.

Generally speaking, you would be in charge of marketing the property yourself and you may find agents prioritise exclusive listings over yours.

Read more: Open Listings Vs Exclusive Listings

Mould problems in far north Queensland

Q: I live in Kuranda FNQ, is it my responsibility to clean substantial mould growing, or the landlord? I had no idea it would be this bad. I've moved from Perth and nor prepared for this - Steve

A: Steve, mould can be a terrible problem I feel for you. The answer to your question is, it depends. Generally, across Australia, it's a landlords responsibility to keep the premises 'reasonably' clean and fit to live in. As this statement is sufficiently vague enough to allow landlords to dodge responsibility these cases often end in escalation to the tribunal.

The first thing you should do it try and determine where the mould has come from. If you can pinpoint a leak in the roof or walls, you can ask your landlord to fix this. If you can't locate the problem, then you might need to prove that you haven't caused it. If the mould is especially bad and they refuse to address the issue, you can escalate the case to the housing tribunal courts. Alternatively, you can ask to terminate your lease early.

Do you have something you want answered? Drop us a line!


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