Statutory Trustees

A Statutory Trustee is a person or persons appointed by the Court for the purpose of selling real property, such as land and the houses or buildings on it. Statutory Trustees are generally appointed as a result of a dispute between one or more of the co-owners of the property. Where co-owners cannot agree on whether a property should be sold, or where one party cannot raise sufficient funds to pay out the other party’s interest in the property, a Statutory Trustee may be appointed to administer the sale and distribute the proceeds.

The aggrieved party may apply to Court for the appointment of a Statutory Trustee to sell the disputed property pursuant to the following legislation:

  • Queensland – Section 38 of the Property Law Act 1974 (QLD)
  • New South Wales – Section 66G of the Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW)
  • Victoria – There are currently no provisions in the Victorian legislation for the appointment of a Statutory Trustee

What causes a Statutory Trustee to be appointed?

Applications to appoint a Statutory Trustee are most commonly made when the co-owners of a property cannot agree on how to sell or deal with the property. This can be due to circumstances such as:

  • Spouses that are divorcing
  • Investment partners looking to dissolve their agreement
  • During bankruptcy when one owner of a property is bankrupt and the others are not

Where one co-owner is bankrupt, if the other co-owners are unable to raise sufficient funds to purchase the bankrupt estate’s interest in the property, or they do not agree to the joint sale of the property, the Bankruptcy Trustee may apply to Court for the appointment of a Statutory Trustee. A Statutory Trustee may sell the property and distribute the funds, regardless of whether the non-bankrupt co-owner agrees.

Statutory Trustees may be appointed to affect the sale of any residential, commercial or industrial properties that are jointly owned.

What are the expected outcomes of the appointment of a Statutory Trustee?

Throughout the appointment of a Statutory Trustee, the Trustee’s primary goal is to realise the value of the property and distribute the proceeds among the owners and any creditors. This work begins with the Trustee quantifying the amounts owing to any creditors who hold security over the property, such as mortgages and caveators. The trustee will determine the respective ownership interests in the property and obtain vacant possession of the property.

Statutory Trustees are also responsible for arranging the sale of the property. The Trustee will contact various real estate agents and valuers to inspect the property and provide a valuation. They may also undertake a marketing campaign for the sale of the property and pay out the valid security interests held over the property. The balance of funds held after payment of the selling costs will be distributed among the property owners.

How can SV Partners help?

The SV Partners team is qualified and has undertaken numerous sales acting as Statutory Trustees. Our team has the experience and qualifications they need to act as the Statutory Trustee in situations of disputes between the various owners and interested parties over an asset. With offices all over Australia, our services are highly accessible and provide the best possible solution according to each individual clients’ circumstances. For more information or an obligation free consultation, contact us online or feel free to call our confidential assist line on 1800 246 801.

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