When purchasing property in Victoria, you must ensure that the seller complies with Section 32 of the “Sale of Land Act” in Victoria. This law requires a seller to make certain disclosures about the property prior to the signing of the contract of sale. This is usually embodied in a document called Section 32 Statement.
A Section 32 vendors disclosure statement is intended to protect the buyer of real estate by compelling the seller to provide certain statutory information about the property that can guide the buyer in their decision on whether or not to make the purchase.
What is in a Section 32?
The information required include details and attachments about the seller and their right to sell the property, existing mortgages or encumbrances on the property, restrictions such as easement or zoning classification, building permits issued for the past 7 years, and other statutory information and warnings to the purchaser.
What happens if my Section 32 is defective?
Compliance with the Section 32 vendors disclosure statement requirement is necessary in every property conveyance. Failure to comply with this requirement gives the buyer the right to cancel the sale. The seller who intentionally or negligently fails to provide the true and correction vendors disclosure statement may also face criminal prosecution.
How long can a Section 32 be valid for?
There is no legally defined expiry date for a Section 32, and it is generally dependent on a range of factors individual to a client and their property, but we generally advise all of our clients to update their Section 32 every 3 months. If there is any uncertainty about the validity or a section 32, including any of the attached documents, you do not want it to be discovered at the last minute, and delay your sale, auction or next property settlement!
Ok, Mr Conveyancer, please prepare my Section 32 now!