Changes to the NSW conveyancing legislation
What do last month’s changes to the NSW conveyancing legislation mean and how will they benefit the purchasers?
The standard terms and conditions in the Contract for the Sale of Land exist to assist the purchasers in their due diligence process when buying a property and to ensure compliance with vendor disclosure legislation.
The Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2017, has put in additional disclosure requirements for vendors which benefit purchasers by ensuring that there is more information available to make an informed decision on the property.
What are the other changes to the legislation and how will it affect the purchasers?
The new legislation streamlines existing provisions, updates terminology and references to other legislation, and introduces some new vendor disclosure requirements.
From the purchaser’s point of view, the critical updates include:
- Requirement for a sewage diagram in the contract;
- Removal of the requirement for swimming pool compliance certificate;
- Requirement to include information about the relevant Strata Scheme; and
- A warning notice, which alerts the purchasers about the presence of Loose-Fill Asbestos.
The requirement to add the sewerage service diagram is one of the essential additions to the contract, according to the regulations. The new laws state that there must be two sewerage diagrams attached to the last page of the contract, approved by the sewerage authority. One must include the sewerage infrastructure location (service location diagram), and the other diagram should have the sewer location (sewerage service diagram).
It is vital for the contracts to include these diagrams as it will help the purchasers to plan their purchase or at least map out the potential risks involved. For example, if the sewer line passes through the property it is necessary for the purchaser to be aware of this so they can avoid building structures on this area to avoid disastrous consequences if the sewer line were to burst.
Warning about Loose-Fill Asbestos insulations:
The new warning about the Loose-Fill Asbestos insulation must be included in all the contract of sale and purchase for properties or land in NSW, as per the new regulations. A purchaser possesses the right to rescind a contract within the two weeks of the exchange of contracts if the vendor has failed to include the warning. Considering that the dangers associated with the asbestos include cancer this is an important warning now included in the standard provisions for the Contract for the Sale of land.
(by NSW Government)
Before purchasing land that includes any residential premises (within the meaning of Division 1A of Part 8 of the Home Building Act 1989) built before 1985, a purchaser is strongly advised to consider the possibility that the premises may contain loose-fill asbestos insulation (within the meaning of Division 1A of Part 8 of the Home Building Act 1989). In particular, a purchaser should: (a) search the Register required to be maintained under Division 1A of Part 8 of the Home Building Act 1989, and (b) ask the relevant local council whether it holds any records showing that the residential premises contain loose fill asbestos insulation. For further information about loose-fill asbestos insulation (including areas in which residential premises have been identified as containing loose-fill asbestos insulation), contact NSW Fair Trading.
The act as mentioned above was added to give some power to the purchaser to conduct the due diligence for their purchase. It is an essential step forwards as the purchasers would undoubtedly prefer to learn about the presence of Asbestos, rather than to discover it after the purchase is made, considering the costs associated with the remediation and removal of asbestos are quite high and with the significant health risks.
Other changes to the legislation:
It is now an essential requirement, if there is relevant strata scheme, for it to be attached to the Contract for the Sale of Land.
The legislation has abolished the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation, 2010. The requirement for Swimming Pool Certificate and the warning previously in place about swimming pools have been removed from the Contract for the Sale of Land. As this information is no longer required to be provided by the law, prudent purchasers now need to ensure they are satisfied with a pools’ compliance to avoid safety issues and ensure compliance with the legislature requirements. This is a must, given that in average six children die from drowning in the swimming pool in NSW alone, each year.
If the disclosure requirements are not met by vendors the purchaser has the right to terminate the contract without losing their deposit money.
At MistryFallahi Lawyers & Business Advisors, our lawyers work closely with you and your advisors to navigate the complexities of property law and conveyancing legislations. If you are a potential purchaser or intending on placing a property on the market for sale , please feel free to contact us to assist you in all property related legal matters to ensure that you are protected.
Please contact our legal team to discuss your property related questions and how we can help you and your team on +61 2 8094 1247 or email us at email@example.com.
Jennifer specialises in Property and Real Estate transactions assisting developers, vendors and purchasers. Her practice concentrates on residential and commercial conveyancing, property development, strata title, land releases, stamp duty issues and compliance with FIRB requirements.