When the Victorian Government announced the increase in the foreign purchaser stamp duty surcharge in late April, it also proposed amending the Duties Act to extend the surcharge to hotels, motels, serviced apartments, retirement villages and student accommodation. The result is an effective duty rate of up to 12.5% on the acquisition of these assets in Victoria for foreign purchasers.

On Second Reading in the Legislative Council, it was announced that that the definition of residential premises will not include the above mentioned commercial residential operations. This is an important amendment and will ensure, once passed, that the above mentioned short term accommodation would not be captured and hence not liable to the stamp duty surcharge in Victoria.

It seems the amendments will now be discussed in Committee before being voted on by the Legislative Council.

The exclusion of these property classes from the surcharge is welcomed and it will be interesting to continue to follow the progress of the overall amendments through the legislative process.