Changes to the Sale of Land Act 1963 (Vic)
As many Real Estate Agents may be aware, from 1 October 2014 changes to section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic) (Act) will come into effect.
Under the new section 32 statement requirements, a vendor must:
- Provide a copy of the register search statement of the certificate of title and attach the plan of subdivision of the land;
- Provide the name of any planning overlays affecting the land;
- Specify when an owners corporation is ‘inactive’; and
- Specify which services are ‘not connected’.
Other changes to the Act include:
- The vendor is no longer required to attach the section 32 statement to the contract of sale;
- The vendor may sign with an electronic signature;
- Only current notices, orders, declarations, reports or recommendations or approved proposals directly and currently affecting the land need to be disclosed;
- The vendor is required to disclose contamination by agricultural chemicals or affected by livestock disease;
- A vendor may provide the information prescribed for the purposes of section 151(4)(a) of the Owners Corporation Act 2006 (Vic) or provide an owners corporation certificate; and
- The vendor is no longer required to disclose a planning instrument prohibits construction of a dwelling house on the land located outside the metropolitan area.
Critically, for vacant residential land or land on which there is a residence, the selling agent or vendor (where there is no selling agent), is required to provide a purchaser with a Due Diligence Checklist from the time the land is offered for sale.
The Due Diligence Checklist is available on the Consumer Affair Victoria’s website, at:
A failure to provide the Due Diligence Checklist does not provide the purchaser with a right to pull out of the contract of sale. However, the vendor or its selling agent could be liable for fines of up to 60 penalty units. We strongly recommend that Real Estate Agents develop practices to ensure that prospective purchasers receive the Due Diligence Checklist before they receive the contract of sale. For example, Real Estate Agents may wish to put a clear hyperlink on their website that connects the purchaser to the Due Diligence Checklist or email a copy directly to the purchaser; so as to create a ‘digital paper trail’.
The changes to the Act contain provisions allowing the use of ‘old section 32 statements’, where the vendor’s statements have been signed and dated before 1 October 2014 and also contain up to date certificates. Statements prepared before 1 October 2014, that have not been signed and dated and do not contain up to date certificates, cannot be used.
Author: Cathy Drake