On 31 October 2012, the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Michael O’Brien, released a discussion paper into the efficiency and effectiveness of s 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962: “The discussion paper invites community and stakeholder debate around the effectiveness of section 32 and how this section might be reformed for the benefit of both the buyer and seller.”
As readers of this blog will know, section 32 requires anyone selling land in Victoria to disclose certain prescribed information about that land by providing a vendor statement to prospective purchasers. That information includes title details and restrictions, services available and connected, and any notices issued by any government authorities that affect the land.
The review will examine vendor statements and consider whether all of the required information is appropriate, and whether there are alternative methods available for disclosing this information prior to sale. The review will also examine the volume and complexity of the information being disclosed.
Mr O’Brien said:
“In the 30 years since vendor statements were introduced the amount of information required to be disclosed has grown, as has the size of the document. It’s appropriate to take stock and ask if we’re doing this the best way possible. I encourage consumers, land owners, industry professionals and other relevant stakeholders to engage in this review to deliver lower costs, while maintaining consumer protections.”
The discussion paper is available at www.consumer.vic.gov.au/section32review, and the closing date for submissions is 20 December 2012.