Important Changes to ‘Off the Plan’ Contracts and E-Conveyancing are Coming

1 min read

Although not yet in force, as of 13 November 2018, there have been further changes to legislation on ‘off the plan’ contracts, primarily for the benefit of purchasers. Purchasing ‘off the plan’ essentially means purchasing property which does not exist at the time of the purchase, but which will exist at the time of settlement.

E-conveyancing is becoming more common and will become compulsory for mainstream property transactions on 1 July 2019, and these changes allow greater flexibility. In the writer’s view these changes are proactive and appropriate, particularly when it comes to e-conveyancing. Here is a summary of the changes:

Off the Plan Contracts

  1. There will be a requirement for all developers selling ‘off the plan’ to provide a separate disclosure statement to potential purchasers in addition to the Contract for Sale, setting out crucial information, including the proposed subdivision or Strata Plan, a copy of the proposed by-laws, a schedule of finishes, and any sunset dates.
  1. Developers will have to notify purchasers of any changes to a material particularduring the development. A change to a material particular is something that will have an adverse impact on the use or enjoyment of the lot being sold. Examples include the size of the block of land being varied or the strata unit changing in configuration or size.
  1. In the event that the purchaser has been prejudiced due to a material particular change that was not notified to the purchaser by the developer, then, if the purchaser would not have entered into the contract had they known about the change, they will be entitled to rescind the contract. If, however, the purchaser decides not to rescind the contract, they could also be entitled to claim compensation from the developer.
  1. Developers will be required to provide a copy of the Registered Plan at least 21 days before settlement, where currently 14 days is allowed.
  1. Cooling-off periods for off the plan purchases will be extended to a minimum of 10 business days, rather than 5 business days, to allow more time for a purchaser to review the contract or obtain finance before deciding whether to proceed.
  1. Events which can trigger sunset clauses will be extended, e.g. the issuing of an occupation certificate, and a party will be able to claim damages if another party rescinds a contract pursuant to a sunset clause in the contract. This will make reliance by developers on the sunset date as a reason to rescind more onerous, and may expose them to damages claims by purchasers.

E-Conveyancing

  1. Obstacles to conveyancing transactions being done electronically from start to finish will be removed, including confirming that contracts for sale of land, registry instruments, and deeds can be performed and signed electronically rather than in wet ink.
  1. Notices under the Conveyancing Act can now be served electronically.

Conclusion

Please note that these changes are yet to come into effect and will be proclaimed sometime this year. Should you require any assistance or wish to discuss this, please contact Priority Business Lawyers on (02) 4305 3500.

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Authored By
PBLTeam

Director Lawyer, PBL Law Group

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Anita Bradley has been an absolute dream to deal with. Anita's conveyancing skills and knowledge knows absolutely no boundaries along with her effective communication skills which has made selling and buying a completely stress free exchange for us. We recommend PBL Law to everyone looking for outstanding service. We will definitely be returning clients.
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S M
I have experienced an excellent service from PBL (especially from Anita) during the sale of my recent property on Central Coast, and during the purchase of our current property in Sydney. Throughout many challengers, especially with the sale, Anita presented her very professional and knowledgeable conveyancer, positively solving all obstacles. "Above and Beyond" Award going to Anita!!! :-)
Amanda Reitzin
The five-star reviews are well-deserved. I needed a motion and a bylaw drawn up for urgent repairs of my strata unit and the AGM was in two weeks' time. My solicitor was friendly, efficient, knew what documents to ask for, and had all the paperwork prepared well within the timeframe. She also took the time to run through all the legalese and the different possible scenarios with me to make sure I understood. I am so glad to have found this firm and I will not hesitate to use their services again in future if the need arises.
Ricky Cooper
Anita is amazing! So attentive, approachable and communicates everything every step of the way. I have now bought and sold property with Anita and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Ron Thomsen
Our Commercial Property conveyancing was handled very professionally. Anita’s experience and responsiveness was an asset in this transaction.
Trace M
I am so grateful for Anita Bradley from PBL Law Group helped me with this property settlement, she has went above beyond to ensure I understand everything because of our deafness. I will recommended Anita or their team. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done for us.
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Jye Hall
Anita Bradley has been an absolute dream to deal with. Anita's conveyancing skills and knowledge knows absolutely no boundaries along with her effective communication skills which has made selling and buying a completely stress free exchange for us. We recommend PBL Law to everyone looking for outstanding service. We will definitely be returning clients.
Kushlan Aluwihare
PBL Law Group were fantastic. Anita from PBL worked with us closely during our property search and made the exchange and settlement process smooth and stress free. Highly recommended.
Gail Whitford
PBL handled my late mothers estate, they were very obliging and patient with any and all questions that we had, thank you to David , Sharon and the other staff that we dealt with, everyone was so easy to talk to and friendly .David came to the home where my Mother was living and helped her to get her will in order, Sharon helped us through the process of executing her wishes when the time came even doing a house call which was so much easier, thank you all so much
S M
I have experienced an excellent service from PBL (especially from Anita) during the sale of my recent property on Central Coast, and during the purchase of our current property in Sydney. Throughout many challengers, especially with the sale, Anita presented her very professional and knowledgeable conveyancer, positively solving all obstacles. "Above and Beyond" Award going to Anita!!! :-)
Amanda Reitzin
The five-star reviews are well-deserved. I needed a motion and a bylaw drawn up for urgent repairs of my strata unit and the AGM was in two weeks' time. My solicitor was friendly, efficient, knew what documents to ask for, and had all the paperwork prepared well within the timeframe. She also took the time to run through all the legalese and the different possible scenarios with me to make sure I understood. I am so glad to have found this firm and I will not hesitate to use their services again in future if the need arises.
Ricky Cooper
Anita is amazing! So attentive, approachable and communicates everything every step of the way. I have now bought and sold property with Anita and I cannot recommend her highly enough.
Ron Thomsen
Our Commercial Property conveyancing was handled very professionally. Anita’s experience and responsiveness was an asset in this transaction.
Trace M
I am so grateful for Anita Bradley from PBL Law Group helped me with this property settlement, she has went above beyond to ensure I understand everything because of our deafness. I will recommended Anita or their team. Thank you so much for all the hard work you have done for us.
Tricia Wheatstone
For almost 18 months I have been a client of Alex Ilkin. Alex is very knowledgeable and professional and has consistently provided me with thorough, honest and well set out advice, including steering my case through appeal proceedings. He always worked for my best interests with integrity and compassion. I recommend Alex and his team at PBL.