Victorian off the plan buyers to get boosted contract termination sunset clause rights

Victorian off the plan buyers to get boosted contract termination sunset clause rights
Victorian off the plan buyers to get boosted contract termination sunset clause rights

Victorians buying off-the-plan properties will get greater protection under new laws on termination sunset clauses.

The legislation was presented to state parliament on Wednesday, but backdated to August 23 last year when the legislation was first announced.

“We’re taking action to make sure that Victorians aren’t being ripped off by dodgy developers – the days of misusing sunset clauses to make super profits are over," Consumer Affairs Marlene Kairouz said.

Changes to legislation will make it tougher for developers to deliberately delay projects to take advantage of a return to rising land prices across Melbourne.

There have been concerns of developers returning deposits and on-selling it for a much higher price for house and land packages and off the plan apartments.

The flexibility in residential Developments will be significantly reduced as while the purchaser retains the right to unilaterally terminate residential off the plan contracts of sale under a sunset clause, developers will no longer be able to do so.

To minimise the need to rely on a sunset clause, developers may opt for a longer period between the day of sale and the sunset date, to allow sufficient time for obtaining all approvals from the relevant authorities and completing all works required for registration of the plan of subdivision.

Developers will be wary about going to market too early. Consumer Affairs Victoria received 64 complaints in 2018 about sunset clauses.

The new bill had consumer advocates also praising planned curbs on rent-to-buy schemes.

Under changes to the Sale of Land Act, off-the-plan developers of housing estates and apartment blocks will need the permission of buyers, or the Supreme Court, to enact the sunset clause.

Consumer Affairs minister Marlene Kairouz introduced the changes saying the changes would ensure developers were unable to take advantage of those buying off-the-plan

The NSW government introduced legislation in November 2015 that requires the vendor to obtain the purchaser’s consent or an order from the Supreme Court before the vendor can terminate an off the plan contract of sale under a sunset clause.

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Off the plan Victoria

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