1. I need to sell my property. What do I need to do?
Before a vendor can sell a property, the vendor must firstly provide the prospective purchaser with a Section 32 Vendor’s Statement. It is a legal document which discloses information about the property. It is called a Section 32 Statement because the information that must be disclosed is required under Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962(‘the Act’).
2. What must a vendor disclose in the Section 32 Statement?
A vendor’s Section 32 Statement must contain, amongst other things, the following:
· Financial matters such as mortgages affecting the property.
· Whether it is in a bushfire or termite prone area.
· The outgoings affecting the property.
· Details of building permits issued in the last 7 years, if the property is residential.
· Details about the owner’s corporation if the property is affected by an owner’s corporation.
· What services are not connected to the property.
· Details of restrictions affecting the property such as covenants and easements.
· Planning and Zoning information about the property.
· Material facts about the property.
3. What is a material fact and what must I as a vendor disclose?
It is an offence if a vendor or agent knowingly conceals or withholds a material fact about land that is for sale, with the intention to induce any person to buy any land.
Section 12(d) of the Sale of Land Act (Vic) 1962 says that:
“Any person who, with the intention of inducing any person to buy any land—
(d) makes or publishes any statement promise or forecast which he knows to be misleading or deceptive or knowingly conceals any material facts or recklessly makes any statement or forecast which is misleading or deceptive shall be guilty of an offence against this Act….”
The penalty for breaching section 12(d) of the Act is 120 penalty units or up to 12 months imprisonment. The section is
intended to assist a purchaser to make an informed decision about the land before they buy it.