Ever imagined buying a tropical island? Yes! So have I, along with Richard Branson, George Harrison and savvy billionaires, movie moguls and rock stars.
In Queensland it is easier than you think, well, perhaps not the whole island, but Hamilton Island properties are available for sale and you don’t have to go in for the difficult and inconvenient timeshare scenario.
When Hamilton Island was first developed by world champion water skier and entrepreneur Keith Williams, the Queensland Government granted his company Hamilton Island Enterprises Limited a Perpetual Crown lease over the whole island. That means the lease is in perpetuity, which goes forever with no expiry date.
The buildings, roads, airport and facilities are all under the Crown leasehold and the lease allows for subleases of parcels for luxury homes like George Harrison’s old holiday home beneath One Tree Hill and apartment buildings. The land for an apartment building is subleased to a company and buyers purchase a share in that company as well as a sub sublease of their apartment. Because of the Crown lease consents are required to all sales including from the Queensland Government minister.
So the right to stay and rent out an apartment is based on ownership of shares and a sub sublease of crown leasehold. Hamilton Island Enterprises Limited, currently controlled by the Oatley family of Wild Oats super maxi yachts fame, effectively runs the facilities and charges a management fee to the owners.
Sounds complicated and compared to a simple freehold house and land conveyance it is. But the good news is, over many years McLaughlins Lawyers and Teresa Kearney have been involved in developments and sales contracts for apartments all over the island and we are very familiar with the process and the island. The investment is recognised by financiers but the lending officers may need help explaining the process. Much like any other holiday homes, family can stay and in the end the rights can be gifted by will. Superannuation purchases are possible with good financial advice.
Other tropical islands like Magnetic Island, international resorts, hotels and crown leasehold properties are also part of our experience. If in an international resort like Hamilton Island and Sanctuary Cove, foreign buyers can buy so the market to sell if you want out is larger than residential freehold investment.
We understand how it works and can ensure buyers and sellers have a trouble free transfer and can look forward to boasting of owning a tropical island (or part of one).
So if like me you have dreamed of owning a tropical island and you want to investigate buying or selling a luxury property or apartment or need advice or help concerning your property or commercial matter, please ask for Teresa Kearney, Senior Associate. McLaughlins Lawyers, your experienced Gold Coast lawyers, we stand beside you.
Author: Teresa Kearney
Director: Ian Kennedy
Date: 3 September 2019