Trustee appointed by the Court
Below is transcript of Gerard Houlihan’s interview with Aaron Stevens of 990 4RO from October 2016.
Yes Aaron, the most sensible approach is to negotiate to try and reach an agreement between the two parties so that the one wishing to retain the property might be able to buy out the owner wishing to sell. But, agreement is not always possible, and that is when it is necessary if there is that impasse for one of the parties, generally the one who wants to sell, to apply to the Court for the appointment of trustees for sale.
This is a process where in that impasse situation, there can be an application made asking the Court to take it out of the hands of the owners, put in the hands of the trustee, and have the trustee sell for both of them.
Okay, so who is the Court likely to appoint as a trustee?
It can be anyone who is willing to take on that role, but usually it is the person who makes the application who approaches someone in advance, like an experienced real estate agent, maybe a solicitor, an accountant, or a combination of those people, to ask them would they be willing to take on that job if the Court so appointed. And if they are, the person making the application to the Court can then go to Court and say “I have Mr So-and-so and Mrs So-and-so signing consents to say that they are willing to take on this role as trustees”.
Obviously those people have to be independent from the parties and not have any conflicted interest.
Alright, so that is an important role. What is the role in its essence?
Well Aaron, the trustees appointed take over control of the property, they market it through reputable agents, and they can determine the best method of sale because their job is to sell the property – they have been appointed for the purposes of sale.
Once they have advertised properly, marketed properly, and put it up for sale, they sell that property at the best available price and after payment of all expenses, which would include their costs as trustees, the proceeds are then distributed between the two owners who couldn’t work it out themselves.
Does that happen very often?
It’s not a thing that happens all that often, we do see these types of applications from time-to-time. Sometimes it occurs with parties who have been owners for a long time and just fall out.
But where you do see it a little bit more frequently, where it’s probably more prevalent, is where beneficiaries might inherit a property and there’s 2 or 3 of them. So they didn’t own the property to start with, they can’t agree on its sale, it’s been imposed upon them by inheritance, one wants to cash out, and the others want to retain (but not by the person who wants to cash out). So you see it in that situation from time-to-time and we have had a number of cases at the office.
Alright, that’s definitely when you need some advice. How do we get in touch with you Gerard?
You can contact me at Rees R & Sydney Jones, 55 Denham Street, or telephone on 4927 6333.