Amendments to Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic)

by K&L Gates LLP


The Sale of Land Amendment Act 2014 (Vic) (Act) will amend the Sale of Land Act 1962 (Vic) (SLA). The objective of the Act is to re-enact, reform and modernise the provisions relating to statements made under section 32, enhancing consumer protection by simplifying a vendor's disclosure obligations.

When Will The Amendments Take Effect?

The Act has received Royal Assent and the main operative provisions will come into operation on 1 October 2014.

The Main Amendments

1. Owners Corporations

No Longer Compulsory to Provide an Owners Corporation Certificate

The Act will amend the SLA so that it is no longer compulsory to attach an owners corporation certificate to a vendor's statement. However, the same information currently set out in an owners corporation certificate must be provided by a vendor in the vendor's statement.

Vendors run the risk of purchasers rescinding their contracts if they do not provide all information that would normally be provided in an owners corporation certificate. Therefore, other than in the case of 'inactive owners corporations', it is recommended that vendors still provide owners corporation certificates to ensure vendors are aware of all information that is required to be disclosed.

For example, owners corporation certificates contain information regarding legal proceedings that owners corporations are a party to. If a claim is made against an owners corporation and the owners corporation manager has not informed its members of the claim, a vendor will have no way of disclosing that information. Where legal proceedings are issued, in most instances a manager will only notify the owners corporation committee and therefore members will only become aware of the legal proceedings at the annual general meeting.

On this basis, vendors who do not seek current information by way of owners corporation certificates will be running a risk.

Inactive Owners Corporations

The Act provides that if an owners corporation is inactive, the vendor's statement only needs to specify this. There is no requirement to provide an owners corporation certificate or owners corporation information in accordance with the new provisions in the Act. This amendment is a welcomed change as the existing requirement to provide an owners corporation certificate has been problematic for properties subject to inactive owners corporations.

An inactive owners corporation is defined by inactivity in the previous 15 months. The definition of 'inactive' includes an owners corporation that has not: 

  • had an annual general meeting 
  • fixed any fees 
  • held insurance.

All three of these requirements must be met for the owners corporation to be inactive. The term 'includes' suggests that there could be other circumstances when an owners corporation may be inactive.

2. Vendor's Statement

The requirement to attach a copy of the vendor's statement to each contract will be removed. Therefore, only one separate vendor's statement has to be provided to the purchaser before the contract of sale is signed.

Presently, it is usual conveyancing practice to prepare two contracts of sale with attached vendor's statements and a separately bound vendor's statement. The vendor's statement is then returned to the vendor or its legal practitioner, proving that a vendor's statement was provided to the purchaser prior to the execution of the contract.

Once the Act becomes operative, we expect that the existing practice will change so that vendors will provide purchasers with two contracts of sale and two vendor's statements for signing. The vendor and purchaser will retain one copy of each.

3. Due Diligence Checklist

The Act introduces a new due diligence checklist which must be provided by the vendor to prospective purchasers of vacant residential land or land which has a residence from the time the land is offered for sale. This checklist must be in the form approved by the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV).

These provisions do not apply to a vendor if the vendor has engaged a licensed estate agent to act for the vendor. In that case, the licensed estate agent must ensure that the checklist is made available to any prospective purchaser from the time the land is offered for sale.

The checklist is made available if:

  • copies are on display or offered to prospective purchasers at any inspection of the land
  • any website "maintained by the vendor and any person acting as a licensed estate agent of the vendor where the land is offered for sale", allows access to a copy of the checklist directly or via a link to another website where a copy may be obtained.

Presumably, a link to the checklist on the CAV website will suffice as the Act provides that the Director of CAV must publish a copy of the checklist on its website.

4. Amendments to Current Requirements

Disclosure of Essential Services

The existing requirement that a vendor's statement disclose essential services that are connected at the property will no longer apply. The Act provides that a vendor's statement must only disclose essential services, such as gas, electricity, water, sewerage and telephone that are not connected at the property.

Disclosure of Notices

Under the Act, a new concept of notices is included so that a vendor's statement must disclose information 'directly' and 'currently' affecting the land. The intent is to allow vendors to provide current information as opposed to historical information.

The Act also requires disclosure of notices, property management plans, reports or orders issued by a governmental department or public authority in relation to livestock disease or contamination by agricultural chemicals affecting the ongoing use of the land for agricultural purposes.

Planning Scheme

Where a planning scheme applies to the land, the vendor's statement must now include the name of any planning overlay affecting the land. The existing practice of disclosing planning certificates will satisfy this requirement.

5. Non-compliance and Penalties

Currently, a purchaser is entitled to rescind a contract if the vendor gives false information or fails to supply all of the information required in a vendor's statement.

The Act provides purchasers with an additional right to rescind a contract if the vendor fails to provide the purchaser with a signed vendor's statement before the purchaser accepts title and is entitled to possession.

The current provision creates an offence where a vendor supplies false information or fails to supply all requisite information with a consequent penalty of up to 50 penalty units.

The Act creates an offence for the failure to provide a vendor's statement at all, as well as increasing penalties to 300 penalty units for a body corporate and 60 penalty units in any other case.


Once operative, the Act will have a range of practical implications for the conveyancing process, in particular for vendors and their legal practitioners.

As the provisions are not yet operative, no action is necessary at present.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© K&L Gates LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

K&L Gates LLP

K&L Gates LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.