Section 32 Statement
What is a Section 32 statement?
A Section 32 statement is governed by the Sale of Land Act. When selling a property, a vendor is required to disclose various details about the property or house that they are selling to anyone who is seeking to buy a house or property. Failure to disclose all of the requirements set out in section 32 of the Sale of Land Act can result in the Contract of Sale not being binding on the purchaser.
Is there any difference between a Section 32 and a Vendor’s Statement?
No, a Section 32 and a Vendor’s Statement is one and the same thing.
What types of things need to be included in a Section 32?
Think of a Section 32 as a profile of your property. A Section 32 needs to include details about:
- the title of the property and any encumbrances on it i.e. mortgages, caveats, section 173 agreements.
- Details regarding any planning schemes concerning the property,
- details of any outgoings on the property i.e. council rates, water rates & any owners corporation fees if applicable
- details of any building permits granted in the previous seven years and any required insurance for works carried out
- information concerning any proposed works by VicRoads, whether the property is in a Bushfire Prone Area and whether the property ono the Priority Sites for the Environmental Protection Agency
What happens if the Section 32 fails to disclose information or the information disclosed is inaccurate?
If a Section 32 is deficient either due to not disclosing all of the required information or the information disclosed is inaccurate, it allows for the opportunity for the buyer to rescind the contract. The ability to rescind the contract by the buyer however will not be allowed where the vendor has acted honestly and fairly and ought to be excused from the contravention and the purchaser is substantially in as good a position as if the disclosure requirements had been complied with. Generally this is a question that requires litigation to answer which can be lengthy and costly. The easier option is simply to ensure that that the Section 32 statement meets the legislated disclosures.
How long does a Section 32 statement last?
A Section 32 statement will last for as long as the information that is contained within the statement is valid and up to date. Once a Section 32 statement is no longer current and up to date, it gives the purchaser the ability to rescind the contract. Details that can change that would require a Section 32 statement to be updated are if VicRoads has proposed works to a road connected with the property, if a caveat has been lodged on the property or if a special levy has been issued by an Owners Corporation. The importance of having an up to date Section 32 statement cannot be emphasised enough to ensure a sale goes through.