Better protections for off-the-plan homebuyers
From 1 December 2019, developers will need to disclose more information when selling off-the-plan. There are also tighter requirements around cooling-off periods, holding of deposits and sunset clauses.
Vendors will need to:
- provide buyers with key information about the development before contracts are signed, including copies of the proposed plan, proposed by-laws and a schedule of finishes
- notify purchasers of material changes that they make
- allow buyers to end the contract or claim compensation if they are impacted by the material changes
- provide final registered plans at least 21 days before the buyer settles
- extend the cooling-off period to 10 business days, with any deposit to be held in a controlled account until settlement.
The new laws clarify that the Supreme Court can award damages where the vendor terminates under a sunset clause.
Off-the-plan purchases have become more popular over the past decade with sales increasing by 10.6%, up from 2646 in 2008-2009 to 17,218 in 2018-2019.
The changes follow an extensive review conducted by the Office of the Registrar General and bring greater transparency and certainty for purchasers who buy residential property off-the-plan.