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What is a Section 173 Agreement?

A Section 173 Agreement is a legal contract usually made between the municipal council and a landowner which places restrictions on how the landowner can use the land. Sometimes third parties such as water authorities may be a party to the Agreement.

A Section 173 Agreement will generally be a requirement of a condition placed in a planning permit. Not all planning permits will require a Section 173 Agreement, so a landowner must carefully review their planning permit to ensure that they act on the requirement if there is one.

Section 173 Agreements get their name from section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic).

Why would I be Required to enter into a Section 173 Agreement?

A Section 173 Agreement is a restriction that limits the use of the land. The Agreement binds the landowner and all subsequent landowners until the Agreement ends or is removed from the certificate title to the property.

A Section 173 Agreement may be used to:

  1. establish monetary contributions for road construction;
  2. prevent the further subdivision of land;
  3. provide for the provision of infrastructure;
  4. protect native vegetation or provide for an offset management plan;
  5. provide for maintenance of a septic system, or
  6. provide for a detainment system to reduce the discharge of water into the water system.

Preparation of a Section 173 Agreement

Section 173 Agreements are normally prepared by a solicitor. As the Agreement is a legal document it is binding on the municipal council and all other parties to the Agreement, it is important that the Section 173 Agreement is drafted, reviewed, executed and registered properly.

Any reasonable costs and expenses incurred by the municipal council in association with a Section 173 Agreement are usually borne by the landowner. This will include the cost of any review of the Agreement undertaken by the municipal council’s lawyers. A landowner will also be liable for the Land Titles Office fee for the registration of the Section 173 Agreement on the certificate of title to the property.

Registration of a Section 173 Agreement

The Section 173 Agreement must be approved and signed by the municipal council and any other party to the Agreement. It is then the landowner’s responsibility to lodge the Agreement for registration at the Land Titles Office.

Once the Section 173 Agreement is registered on the certificate of title to the land to which is applies, the municipal council and all other parties to the Agreement should be notified. Registration of the Agreement on the certificate of title to the property ensures that all future owners are aware of, and bound by, the requirements of the Section 173 Agreement.

Section 173 Agreement Legal Advice

Whether you need a Section 173 Agreement pursuant to your planning permit, you require a review of an Agreement or want to amend an Agreement for a property you have purchased, Ballarat Lawyers can assist you.

For assistance with your Section 173 Agreement queries, please contact us on 5303 0281 or at

The information on this website is of a general nature only. It is not, nor is it intended to be legal advice. You should consult a lawyer for individual advice about your particular circumstances.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. 

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