Westgate Conveyancers

section 32 statement
Friday, Feb 16, 2024

What is Section 32, and why is it important?

Written by westadmin

Are you negotiating the intricacies of Greater Victoria real estate transactions? The vendor's statement also referred to as Section 32 Victoria, is an important document that you will come upon.

Our conveyancers emphasize the significance of Section 32 in the conveyancing process. They explain its effects on purchasers and sellers.

What is Section 32?

In Victoria, S32 is a legally required document that resembles a disclosure statement or comprehensive report for real estate transactions. Victoria has a special requirement that stems from the Sale of Land Act 1962 VIC, sometimes known as the ACT. Other Australian states do not have an equivalent to it or apply it to them.

What is Section 32 in real estate?

Section 32 of the Australian Act acts as a thorough disclosure, providing the buyer with important details regarding the property from the seller (vendor). This contains information on the title, encumbrances, rates, taxes, and any mortgages or other liabilities. Comparable to a disclosure report, it provides openness to real estate transactions.

Details that are usually found in Section 32:

  • Subdivision plans, permits, and title searches are examples of title evidence.
  • Financial Obligations: Information on land taxes, levies, and mortgages.
  • Land Restrictions: Details on Section 173 Agreements, easements, and covenants.
  • Financial Requirements: Owners Corporation dues, water, and council charges.
  • Details of the building and lease agreements over the last six years.
  • Roads, planning, bushfire-prone regions, and GAIC are examples of local area information.
  • Utility Connections: gas, electricity, water, and other service status.

If you need to ask further questions about the property, you can obtain additional certificates or do searches. Not all information is always necessary or accessible. If you want any further, precise information, you should consult your conveyancer. As part of your due diligence, they were able to order these searches.

What details ought I add to Section 32?

The Sale of Land Act mandates the data included in or appended to the Section 32 statement, spanning Subsections 32A through 32I. According to those subsections, sellers must provide potential buyers with certain information in Section 32.

  • a copy of the Register Search Statement, which verifies the land's street address, registered proprietor(s), encumbrances, caveats, and notifications;
  • a copy of the subdivision plan that shows the lot's borders and lists any easements, covenants, or restrictions that may apply to the land;
  • verification of the utilities (phone, gas, electricity, water, sewage, and gas) linked to the land;
  • a planning statement that includes the planning scheme name, the planning zone and any overlays impacting the area, and the name of the responsible government entity;
  • certifications from the appropriate agencies, such as the State Revenue Office, the Local Council, the Local Water Authority, VicRoads, and the Owner's Corporation (where applicable). These certificates for Section 32, Statement of Victoria, may list expenses, levies, notifications, permits, insurance, or proposed developments impacting the land.
  • any building licences granted in the seven years before under the Building Act 1993 (VIC). An insurance policy, final inspection report, occupancy permit, or flaws report, if necessary, may be provided; and
  • a checklist for due diligence.

Who drafts Section 32?

A vendor will hire a conveyancer or solicitor like us at Westgate Conveyancing. After receiving instructions from the vendor and acquiring the necessary certificates from the relevant authorities, the vendor's legal representative will create Section 32.

When is Section 32 defective?

The vendor or the vendor's legal agent may face severe consequences if they omit to reveal any information that should have been included in it or provide false or misleading information, resulting in Section 32 being declared "defective. Depending on the seriousness of the non-disclosure, the vendor who prepared a faulty Section 32 may face financial fines, a reduction in the purchase price of the property, or the loss of the property transaction altogether.

The Private Clients team at Merton Lawyers follows a strict procedure when producing Section 32 to guarantee that the vendor provides the necessary information and supporting paperwork.

We reduce risks for vendors and guarantee that we provide potential buyers with Section 32 of the contract of sale for the land in a legally valid manner, thanks to our meticulousness and attention to detail.

Buyer a non-compliant Section 32?

If you didn't provide the buyer access to Section 32 before they signed the agreement, they may retract or terminate the contract and seek compensating action from you at any time.

Furthermore, even if you provided access to it before their agreement, they can still rescind or terminate it. They may seek compensation for any losses or damages if the Section 32 vendor statement contained false information.

What should a potential buyer search for in Section 32?

Your conveyancer will examine Section 32. They'll provide legal advice about any problems or impacts on property value. Our list of topics under "What should I include in Section 32?" is not meant to be all-inclusive.

Before you sign a contract, perform due diligence. Have an expert evaluate it for hidden problems. Make additional enquiries about them.

We suggest you discuss examining the land with your conveyancer. They may have questions about its layout or condition. Address this concern before reviewing Victoria's Section 32 statement.

Land tax and windfall gains tax allocation

In the past, you may have stipulated in the selling agreement for your property that the buyer would pay a portion of your land tax or windfall gains tax.

As of January 1, 2024, you are not permitted to:

  • transfer windfall gains tax in a sale agreement if your windfall gains tax obligation has been determined before you sign the agreement.
  • transfer land tax to purchasers in a contract of sale if your property's sale price is less than the "threshold amount."
  • $10 million is the threshold level for the year beginning on January 1, 2024. Every year, this level will rise to inflation.

If you're not sure if these standards apply to you, talk about them with a conveyancer or attorney.

Why choose us?

It's all about experience! You may be confident that your property transfer is in good hands because we have substantial expertise in the field. Our expert transportation methodology distinguishes itself from the competition. We welcome change and strive to be current and innovative in order to provide our clients with the best outcomes possible.

Westgate Conveyancing can provide customers throughout Victoria with a quick and hassle-free conveyancing service. We have access to the newest conveyancing software and technology.

Who are we?

We operate a conveyancing company. You can rely on Westgate Conveyancing, as we are a reputable business. Our group of lawyers and conveyancers dedicates itself to delivering top-notch service. Contact us to get the finest advice and ensure a seamless real estate transaction.

Also, you can visit Consumer Affairs Victoria for more details.