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What is a Section 32?

What is a Section 32?

January 24, 2024

Understanding Section 32s in Victoria: A guide for property buyers & sellers

Are you navigating the complexities of property transactions in Melbourne or Greater Victoria? A crucial document you’ll encounter is the Section 32, also known as the Vendor’s Statement. Our conveyancers explain the Section 32, highlighting its importance in the conveyancing process and how it impacts both buyers and sellers.

 

What is a Section 32?

A Section 32 (s32) is a mandatory legal document in Victoria, akin to a comprehensive report or disclosure statement for real estate transactions. Originating from the Sale of Land Act 1962 VIC (the ACT), it’s a unique requirement in Victoria. It does not apply, or have an equivalent, in other Australian states.

 

Role of Section 32 in property sales

The s32 serves as a detailed disclosure from the seller (vendor) to the buyer, outlining essential information about the property. This includes title details, mortgages or charges, encumbrances, rates, taxes, and more. It’s similar to a disclosure report, offering transparency in property dealings.

 

Information typically included in a Section 32:

 

Title Evidence: Includes Title Search, subdivision plans, and permits.

Financial Encumbrances: Details on mortgages, charges, and land taxes.

Land Restrictions: Information on easements, covenants, Section 173 Agreements.

Financial Obligations: Council and water rates, Owners Corporation fees.

Lease Agreements and Building Details: Covering the past six years.

Local Area Information: Roads, planning, bushfire prone areas, GAIC.

Utility Connections: Status of water, gas, electricity, and other services.

 

Not all information is always required or available in the Section 32 and other certificates or searches can be ordered if you need to make further queries on the property. You should speak to your conveyancer if you need further specific information. They can order these searches as a part of your due diligence.

The legal implications

A defective or incomplete Section 32 can lead to the rescission of the contract by the purchaser. Sellers must ensure accurate and comprehensive disclosure to avoid legal complications.

The vendor must also not provide false or incomplete information in the Vendor’s Statement. This can also lead to a purchaser being able to rescind the Contract.

So, it is very important that the conveyancer that prepares the Section 32 with the right information. It is also important if you are a vendor selling a property that you check the Vendors Statement carefully.

Purchasers should be given a copy of the Section 32 signed by the Vendor BEFORE they sign a Contract of Sale for a property. If the Vendor hasn’t signed the s32 before the Contract this can also make the Section 32 defective. The purchaser may have the right to rescind the contract based on this technical point.

The Importance of Conveyancing Experts

Professional conveyancers play a vital role in scrutinising the Section 32. Their expertise in property law ensures that buyers are fully informed about their potential investment, mitigating risks of unforeseen issues.

There is typically a lot of documents in the Section 32 and each certificate has relevant property information. Missing key details about the property, especially properties that you wish to develop or have Owners Corporations can have financial consequences. It is important to have this, and the Contract reviewed as key information can easily be overlooked.

Many of the certificates in the Section 32 are for rates or taxes, it is important that these are considered in your buying decision.

How conveyancers assist

Detailed Review: Thorough review of the Section 32 for any discrepancies or omissions.

Expert Advice: Guidance on the implications of various disclosures in the document.

Risk Mitigation: Helping buyers understand potential issues with the land or property.

Expert Representation: Advising and guiding clients through the conveyancing process and settlement of their property.

Can I sign a Section 32 electronically?

In keeping pace with technology, the Act allows for electronic signatures, making it more convenient and efficient for parties involved in the transaction.

As previously mentioned, it is important to note that the Section 32 MUST be signed by the Vendor BEFORE the Contract of Sale.

The value of quality conveyancing advice

Whether you’re a buyer or seller, obtaining legal advice is crucial. A skilled conveyancer can guide you through the nuances of property transactions, ensuring compliance and safeguarding your interests.

Legal documents, especially for those who don’t regularly review contracts, are notoriously difficult to fully understand. The costs are very reasonable for a contract review, especially when compared to the cost of buying a property with issues.

At Conveyancing Depot, our conveyancing team can assist you with any legal issue that relates to property matters to help you through to settlement. Clients appreciate the customer service and support during their matter and more particularly when settlement time comes around. We always recommend having a professional and quality legal team acting for you.

Our conveyancers provide personalised assistance to client when buying, selling property, or in property disputes, contact our expert conveyancing team.

Reach out at 1300 900 440 or through our online contact form for prompt support.

Disclaimer: This article has been prepared for general information purposes and may not apply to your situation. This information should not be relied upon for legal, tax or accounting advice. Your individual circumstances will alter any legal advice given. The views expressed may not reflect the opinions, views or values of Conveyancing Depot and belong solely to the author of the content. © Conveyancing Depot Pty Ltd.

If you require legal advice specific to your situation please speak to one of our team members today.

About The Author

Here at Conveyancing Depot Lorilea is our Marketing Manager. She has a bachelor's degree in...