Fancy New Changes to Conveyancing Legislation in NSW

The new Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2017 introduces changes affecting contracts for land and residential property purchases in New South Wales – it now includes a warning on loose-fill asbestos as well as some other additions which will be useful to the buyer.*

They have repealed the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 and removed the requirement for Swimming Pool Compliance Certificate from the Contract of Sale of Land (CSOL).  What have they replaced it with? Will be of any the benefit to the buyer?

Lets have a look at the changes brought about by the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2017 which have commenced and are effective as of the beginning of September 2017.

The Regulation introduces changes to what the seller needs to disclose to the purchaser in the CSOL which will help the purchaser make their inquiries when buying a residential property in New South Wales.

For starters, it repeals and replaces the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2010 and will affect a contract for the sale of land, or an option to purchase residential property made from the 1st September 2017.

Overall, the updated legislation simplifies existing provisions, updates terminology and references to other Acts and introduces some new disclosure requirements.

Some of the key updates include the removal of the swimming pool compliance statement which will now be replaced with a new warning notice which alerts potential purchasers to the possible presence of Loose Fill Asbestos in certain properties, as well as the need to include sewerage diagrams in contracts.

Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Warning

One of the most significant additions is a loose-fill asbestos insulation warning. The new warning notice must now be included in all contracts for sale and purchase of land in New South Wales.

A failure to include this prescribed document in a contract allows the purchaser the right to rescind a contract within 14 days of exchange of contracts.

The warning reads as follows:

WARNING—LOOSE-FILL ASBESTOS INSULATION

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.

We can all agree that any buyer purchasing a property would prefer to know about the presence of asbestos in black and white, as opposed to having to delve in themselves and make further inquires – or worse yet find out the hard way a few years on.   This additional clause should be  give some power back to the purchaser when it comes to the due diligence surrounding their next ‘buy to be’.

Sewerage

Another good addition to the contract is in relation to the requirements of a sewerage service diagram, this is usually found on the last page of the contract.  Where two specified sewerage service diagrams are available from the relevant recognized sewerage authority, both diagrams must be attached to the contract as prescribed documents.

Previously, under the 2010 Regulation, only one diagram needed to be attached to the contract.

The diagrams to be included are:

  • A sewerage infrastructure location diagram (service location diagram); and
  • A sewer lines location diagram (sewerage service diagram).

This is important – imagine the sewer line, located directly under your kitchen, or just up the hill from your house, burst one day…. What would happen?  You guessed it.  At least compulsory disclosure of these additional diagrams will help purchasers factor in these fetid variables before purchasing a property so they can, at very least, factor in the risks beforehand.

Other Changes

  • All strata by-laws in force for the relevant strata scheme must be attached to the CSOL as prescribed documents.
  • The previous warning statement relating to Swimming Pools has been removed from the Regulation.

A full listing of changes is available through the Law Society of New South Wales.

Cohen Handler buyer’s agents are familiar and knowledgeable about contract and legislation changes, and work together with reputable property lawyers and conveyancers to ensure purchasing a property is hassle-free and efficient. Contact us now.

 

*The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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