Changes to Victorian laws, to come into effect later this year, will clarify the information that sellers must provide to prospective home buyers.
Conveyancers and legal professionals will also benefit from the changes, to section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962, scheduled to come into effect on 1 October. The changes are outlined in the Sale of Land Amendment Act 2014.
The section 32 statement (also called the ‘vendor’s statement’) outlines the information a property seller must provide prospective buyers, such as the name of the relevant planning scheme and details of any undischarged mortgages or charges applying to the land. This information is provided in a section 32 statement.
The Sale of Land Amendment Act repeals section 32 and re-enacts the majority of its disclosure requirements. The re-enacted disclosure requirements are grouped under key themes and clarify the operation of certain requirements.
Key changes to section 32 statements include:
- clarifying planning information to be disclosed
- tightening requirements to ensure only government notices and approved proposals that currently and directly affect the land for sale are disclosed
- updating requirements for disclosing livestock disease and agricultural contamination notices
- providing greater flexibility to vendor of land affected by owners corporations
- limiting disclosure of essential services to only those services that are not connected to the land for sale
- codifying common practice by replacing requirements for a copy of the Certificate of Title with a copy of the Register Search Statement and the document referenced in that Statement that shows the location of the land for sale.
Under the changes, section 32 statements will have to be simpler and easier for conveyancers and lawyers to prepare. Sellers will no longer have to include a second copy of the section 32 statement in the contract of sale.
Due diligence checklist
From 1 October 2014, sellers, or estate agents acting on their behalf, are required to make a ‘due diligence’ checklist available to prospective buyers at open for inspections.
The checklist provides prospective buyers with a tool to make their own enquiries into issues of interest to them when they first start looking at properties.
For more information and to download the checklist, view our Due diligence checklist for home buyers page.