1. What is the difference between the Assemble Model and a ‘rent-to-buy’ model?
All rent-to-buy arrangements include two main components:
+ The ‘rent’ part—where a person lives in a property for a fee (including rent and other payments for occupying the property); and
+ The ‘buy’ part—where a person enters into a contract that provides the right to purchase the property. Rent-to-buy payments are then made, which can include a deposit and other payments.
Typically, a ‘rent-to-buy’ model requires residents to pay rent and other payments during their lease period with those other payments applied toward the purchase price. If residents decide not to purchase, in most cases, they may lose their deposit and any ‘other payments’ made. This isn’t fair and in recognition of this the Government of Victoria recently passed new laws under the Sale of Land Amendment Act 2019 (the Act), that prohibit these types of rent-to-buy arrangements whilst also permitting certain arrangements that they deem fair.
The Assemble Model is a ‘rent-to-buy’ model developed to provide a fairer approach to home ownership whereby your rental and purchase price are fixed and agreed upfront, so you have clarity around your fixed rental costs as you save towards your home deposit. You also have the option but not the obligation to purchase your home at the end of your five-year lease. Your rent is not applied to your deposit or purchase of your home and if your home does not live up to your expectations, you can exit the lease after the first 12 months or decide not to exercise your option to purchase without financial penalty. It is for these reasons that the Assemble Model is a permitted arrangement under the Act with all Assemble Documentation complying with the prescribed requirements of the Sale of Land (Exemption) Regulations 2020 (Vic) so as to permit this fairer approach to home ownership.
2. What initial payments are involved in participating in the Assemble Model?
If successful in the ballot, an initial payment of $500 will be required to hold your apartment and guarantee your appointment to sign your documents. The fee will be applied to your bond payment after signing or it will be a non-fundable cancellation and administration fee if you cancel your appointment.
To secure a 5-year lease with the opportunity to buy your home at the end of your lease, you pay a 1-month rental bond upon signing your documentation. Your bond money will not be held by Assemble – it will instead be paid into our nominated trust account before being lodged and held with the Victorian Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA), just like any other rental bond.
3. Does the rent I pay over the 5-year lease contribute towards the purchase price of my home?
The rent paid over the 5-year lease is market-rate rent and is not applied to the purchase price.
4. What if my circumstances change during the 5-year lease? Can I sublet my home?
If love or life takes you elsewhere, you can sublet your entire apartment with Assembles consent for up to 2 years in aggregate. We don’t allow subletting for more than 2 years and no less than 12 months to discourage short-term rentals within the community.
5. Can I sublet a room within my apartment?
While we do not permit short-term rentals such as Airbnb, you can with Assembles consent sublet a room within your apartment (but not the entire apartment) whilst you remain living there. You can do this for more than 2 years, but not less 12 months.
6. What happens if the market value of my home is higher than the purchase price at the end of the 5-year lease?
If you choose to purchase your home, any increase in the market value of your home above the fixed price is potentially to your benefit.
7. If I love my home and decide to purchase it, how and when do I buy the property?
You will be able to purchase your home after the 5 year and one-month mark by written notice within 14 days. A 10% deposit will be required, and you will need to settle on the property as you would any other property. You are unable to purchase the property any sooner than this.
8. Does the 1-month bond I already paid contribute to my deposit at the end of the 5-year lease?
If you choose to purchase at the end of the 5-year lease, the bond will be returned to you and can be put towards your deposit.
9. I don’t live in Melbourne but would love to get involved – will your projects ever go interstate?
Although we don’t have a site interstate at present – we encourage you to watch this space!
10. What Stamp Duty or First Home Buyer concessions may be available to me under the Assemble Model?
If successful in the ballot, when signing the lease and paying the 1-month rental bond, you will enter into a contract of sale. The contract of sale gives you the right, but not the obligation, to purchase the apartment at the end of the lease term. By also entering into the contract of sale prior to construction commencing, the contract is able to be treated as an off-the-plan contract of sale and you may be eligible to receive the off-the-plan concession.
To receive the off-the-plan duty concession, you must be eligible for either the first home buyer duty exemption, concession or reduction or the principal place of residence (PPR) concession.
First home buyer duty exemption, concession or reduction
If you are an eligible first home buyer, the purchase price (OTP dutiable value) is less than $600,000, and you live in your apartment as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of 12 months following settlement, you may be eligible for full duty exemption. If the dutiable value falls between $600,001 and $750,000 a concession will apply on a sliding scale.
Principal place of residence concession
If you are not an eligible first home buyer, the purchase price (OTP dutiable value) is less than $550,000, and you live in your apartment as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of 12 months following settlement, you may be eligible for the off-the-plan duty concession.
First home owners grant
If you are an eligible first home buyer, the purchase price is less than $750,000, and you live in your apartment as your principal place of residence for a continuous period of 12 months following settlement, you may be eligible for the first home owners grant of $10,000.
For further information on the various concessions available please see the following links:
Please note, this FAQ provides general guidance as to the various concessions available and eligibility criteria but does not constitute formal advice. It is your responsibility to find out whether or not your particular circumstances make you eligible for the first home buyer duty exemption, concession or reduction, principal place of residence concession or first home owners grant.
11. What incentives are provided if I’m a home buyer who has bought previously?
If you are a home buyer (who has bought previously) and are eligible for the principal place of residence (PPR) concession you will pay a reduced rate of Stamp Duty if you decide to purchase the apartment.
12. When do I need to start paying rent?
Your first month’s rent is payable a month prior to moving in.
13. Are pets allowed?
Yes, your furry family members are welcome.
14. Can I paint a wall?
Yes, you are able to make minor modifications to your home. You just need to let us know in advance, and if you decide to leave then you will just need to change it back to its original condition.
15. Can I hang pictures?
Yes, however if you leave you will just need to make good any damage.
16. What happens if my situation changes prior to moving in?
It’s important to note that when you sign your Agreement for Lease, you are agreeing to enter into a 12-month lease (minimum) with us, once construction is complete. Like a conventional lease agreement, you are committed to this first 12-month lease period. However, if your situation changes prior to moving in and you need to cancel your place due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. changes to relationship status or employment), then our team may be able to process a cancellation request for you. If this is the case, this will incur a $500 cancellation and administration fee which we will deduct from your bond refund. The process may take a few months to finalise as our team will need to fill your place from the waiting list and have the incoming resident(s) sign their Agreement for Lease, Contract of Sale and pay their bond before we can return yours to you. If for whatever reason our team is unable to fill your place from the waiting list, you will still be responsible for leasing the apartment for the first 12-month period – as you would in a conventional lease agreement.
17. What happens if I change my mind and want to commit to another Assemble project?
Since we have a lot of interest in each of our projects and our financial modelling is based on residents saving for a period of seven years (i.e. two years of construction and five years of renting) – we can’t simply allow residents to move from one project to another. Similar to the above, when you sign up to one of our projects you are committing to leasing for the first 12 months at a minimum (like you would in a standard lease arrangement), but after the first 12 months or after year two, three, four etc. – you could apply for another Assemble project if you would like to move. However, we will not be able to give you any priority in future Assemble projects, you would have to go through the ballot process again to make sure it is fair for everyone – and then start your lease again from scratch.
18. Are there any limitations on selling the property after you have purchased?
The purchase works like any other property purchase in Victoria, therefore, if you decide to sell the apartment there are no caveats or restrictions outside what is prescribed in the Sale of Land Act.
19. What are the sound proofing measures?
Inter-apartment walls have been design to be discontinuous construction – essentially this ensures a clear air gap between the rooms and the building structure, with the studs from each opposing wall placed in an offset manner to ensure they are not touching and thereby not transferring sounds through reverberation. All inter-apartment walls are also insulated to provide further noise attenuation and most external walls are pre-cast concrete which ensures a high density and acts as a good noise retardant.
Flooring : there will be a 200mm thick concrete slab with either timber floorboards over an acoustic underlay or marmoleum finish. Both finishes will be installed to meet the acoustic requirements of the Building Code of Australia.
Windows : they will all be double glazed which assists with noise attenuation as well as providing good thermal performance.
20. Are the shower heads fixed? If so how high are they?
Shower heads are fixed, mounted to the wall, and are positioned a minimum of 2.1m off the floor.
21. Who is the builder?
Assemble will commence a tender process to appoint a builder for the project soon. Watch this space!
23. Will there be an embedded network?
Yes; there will be an embedded network which will include 100% green power, hot water and internet services.
24. What type of cook top will be installed?
25. Will there be screens provided in the studios?
No; we don’t want to tell you how you should use your space.
26. Internal features include:
In collaboration with Hayball Architects, we have designed each apartment with durability, functionality and longevity in mind. The interior design of each apartment forms a subtle backdrop to everyday life and includes the following internal features:
+ DEKTON benchtop and splashback
+ Exposed concrete ceilings through living area (where applicable)
+ Timber floorboards or optional marmoleum flooring (which is a natural linseed oil-based product) in living, dining and bedrooms
+ Fisher & Paykel appliances, including fridge/freezer and dishwasher
+ Storage space above kitchen benchtop
+ Track lighting to kitchen, dining and living areas
+ Fixed rain shower head
+ Provision for pet door to balcony
+ High efficiency reverse-cycle heating and cooling units in living area and master bedroom
+ Ceiling fans in secondary bedrooms
+ Energy efficient double-glazed windows and balcony doors
+ Curtains to windows and balcony doors (where applicable)
+ Operable transom windows above front doors to facilitate cross-flow ventilation through to each balcony
27. What communal facilities are included?
In collaboration with Hayball Architects and Oculus, 15 Thompson St has been designed to encourage informal connections through the use of various shared spaces and amenities. Communal facilities include:
+ Multi functional communal rooms
+ Ground floor pocket park
+ Multipurpose workshop with lending library
+ Parcel room and cold store
+ Bike storage for over 400 bikes
+ Pizza oven and BBQs
+ Edible gardens
+ Communal laundry
+ Kids play area
+ Pet friendly roof with wash zone
28. What are the sustainability features of the building?
We have worked closely with our Environmental Sustainable Design (ESD) consultant, Atelier Ten to ensure sustainability is embedded throughout the design. 15 Thompson St has been designed to align with Green Star 5 Star objectives and to meet a 7.5 star average NatHERS rating across the development.
Key to the sustainability credentials of the building are passive design features including natural cross-flow ventilation from the open-air walkways, and the cooling benefits of the exposed concrete ceilings.
29. What heating and cooling is included?
A highly efficient inverter reverse-cycle heating and cooling system will be provided to the living/dining area and the master bedroom. Secondary bedrooms will have ceiling fans.
30. Do the apartments come with a dishwasher?
31. What (if any) window furnishings are provided?
Yes, curtains to windows and balcony doors (where applicable).
32. Where are the condensers located for the reverse cycle air-con units?
For the majority of apartments, the condensers are located on the roof. The remaining will have them placed on the balcony, however these are larger balconies, and the condensers will be positioned where possible, out-of-view from the living area.
33. Do apartments have a bath?
All 3-bedroom 2-bathroom apartments have a bath in the bigger of the two bathrooms. There are also some larger 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom homes that were also able to accommodate a bath, along with a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom dwelling.
34. What is the linseed oil natural flooring alternative option and what are some of its sustainability features?
Marmoleum is produced by Forbo flooring systems and is a PVC free linoleum flooring product made primarily from linseed oil and other natural raw materials. Some of the sustainability features are:
+ Marmoleum is CO₂ neutral (from cradle to gate). The trees and plants used for creating linoleum during their growing life have absorbed an amount of CO₂ that exceeds the amount of CO₂ that is emitted during the production process. Without offsetting, each square meter of Marmoleum is helping to reduce CO₂ emissions,
+ It has natural antibacterial properties and is proven to be asthma and allergy friendly,
+ After the linseed oil is pressed from flax seeds, the remains are used as animal feed,
+ Marmoleum is produced with 100% green energy from sun and wind,
+ Forbo Marmoleum has received certification from a large array of international environmental bodies like GECA, Nordic Swan and Green Tag,
+ Every square metre of Marmoleum installed contributes to restoring Australian native forests through their partnership with Carbon Neutral Charitable fund
35. How many car parks on site?
Approximately 96 car parks will be provided on site, of which 86 are proposed to be allocated to residents and the balance to ground floor retail and/or commercial tenants.
36. Will there be a garbage chute on each floor?
Yes, general rubbish and recycling on each floor.