Jonathan Chancellor | 16 November 2012

Victorian Section 32 sales contracts under review

The Victorian government is reviewing the way vendor’s statements (Section 32s) work.

It's part of a review into red tape for businesses and the community. 

The vendor’s statement, introduced in 1982, requires sellers to disclose certain information to prospective buyers. However, the amount of information required to be disclosed has grown, along with the size of vendor’s statements.

The review will examine:

  • the range of matters currently disclosed through vendor’s statements;
  • whether the range of matters required to be disclosed on a vendor’s statement is appropriate; and
  • if alternative methods are available for disclosing this information prior to sale.

The review will also examine the volume and complexity of the information being disclosed.

The first step in the review has been the release of a discussion paper – Review of section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962.

The discussion paper is open for consultation – the general public, estate agents, legal practitioners and conveyancers are encouraged to make submissions no later than December 20.

Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 requires the vendor to disclose certain information about the property for sale, by providing a vendor’s statement to prospective purchasers.

Examples of information provided in the vendor’s statement includes information about:

  • the property, including planning and land use controls (such as easements and covenants);
  • finance, such as undischarged mortgages and insurance requirements; and
  • the connection of essential services.

A property inspection alone may not necessarily reveal all the information a prospective buyer needs to make a decision. This gap in information can place the buyer at a disadvantage during negotiations.

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