Public feedback sought on off the plan sunset clauses

 

Victor dominello

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello has today announced a public consultation on the use of sunset clauses in off the plan property contracts.

Mr Dominello said the NSW Government was considering reforms to the Conveyancing Act 1919 including:

  • Allowing only the purchaser to rescind off the plan contracts; and
  • Requiring a vendor who terminates a contract under a sunset clause, and resells the same unit, to pay damages to the purchaser equal to the difference on the sale price between the two contracts.

“There is growing concern about the way sunset clauses are being used to rescind off the plan contracts,” Mr Dominello said.

“With buying off the plan becoming more and more common, particularly for new strata schemes, this is something we need to look at closely.”

Sunset clauses are usually contained in contracts for buying land or strata units off the plan. They allow either the buyer or the developer to rescind a contract after a certain date, usually in the event that construction is not finished on schedule.

Some NSW consumers have reportedly had their contracts rescinded by a developer using the sunset clause, only for the land or apartment to be re-sold the same day for a higher price.

“Purchasing a property is a life-changing decision and we need to ensure consumers are protected against exploitative practices,” Mr Dominello said.

To understand the extent of the problem, Land and Property Information (LPI) and NSW Fair Trading have commenced a public consultation.

Stakeholders are encouraged to provide feedback through an online survey by Wednesday 14 October available at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.

 

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