Better protections for off-the-plan homebuyers

Published: 2 Dec 2019

Changes to conveyancing laws in NSW will provide better protection 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.

Read more about changes to buying off-the-plan

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