The Sale of Land Amendment Bill 2018

The Andrews Labor Government has announced the Sale of Land Amendment Bill 2018 which will protect Victorian purchasers of off-the-plan properties by restricting the use of sunset clauses in off-the-plan contracts without their consent.

Off-the-plan contracts commonly include a sunset clause that allows a vendor to terminate the contract where the plan of subdivision has not been registered by a specified date. This has meant that vendors who are professional developers can exploit the sunset clauses to unjustly terminate signed contracts of sale.

The changes in the Sale of Land Amendment Bill 2018 will apply to all existing off-the-plan contracts. They will:

  • restrict vendors from terminating off-the-plan contracts under a sunset clause without the written consent of the purchaser or by order of the Supreme Court of Victoria;
  • prohibit public auctions of land before 1:00pm on ANZAC Day;
  • strengthen the offence of concealing material facts about a property and provide guidelines to help vendors and agents understand what a material fact is likely to be;
  • introduce protections for buyers of options to purchase as part of land banking schemes, including requiring money paid for options to be held in a trust; and
  • prohibit certain terms contracts and rent-to-buy arrangements, with significant fines and potential jail time for vendors and third-party intermediaries.

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