Cockburn Gazette - - RESIDENTIA­L -

NEW laws passed by State Par­lia­ment this month aim to sup­port the re­lease of new sub­di­vi­sions onto the prop­erty mar­ket while also pro­tect­ing buy­ers.

The Sale of Land Amend­ment Act 2016 is in­tended to clar­ify the obli­ga­tions of de­vel­op­ers and buy­ers when pur­chas­ing a lot off the plan and pro­vide greater trans­parency for buy­ers.

It has been com­mon prac­tice for de­vel­op­ers to sell lots in a sub­di­vi­sion be­fore ob­tain­ing the rel­e­vant ap­provals and land ti­tles in order to fund their de­vel­op­ments. For buy­ers, this cre­ated the risk that the fi­nance for the de­vel­op­ment could fall through or an un­scrupu­lous de­vel­oper could ab­scond with their de­posits.

Lands Min­is­ter Terry Red­man said the new leg­is­la­tion would make de­vel­op­ers’ obli­ga­tions clear.

“Un­der the new laws, de­vel­op­ers will be re­quired to meet con­sumer protection mea­sures be­fore en­ter­ing into sales con­tracts,” he said.

“These in­clude be­com­ing the reg­is­tered owner of the lot by a dead­line set out in the sales con­tract and hav­ing all de­posits held in trust ac­counts.

“Hav­ing de­posits held in trust ac­counts will en­sure buy­ers are able to ob­tain re­funds should fi­nance for the de­vel­op­ment fall through.”

Sales con­tracts will also con­tain warn­ings that the de­vel­oper is not the reg­is­tered owner of the lot and will ex­plain buyer’s rights.

“These amend­ments will clear up un­cer­tain­ties, bet­ter pro­tect­ing buy­ers while also sup­port­ing the re­lease of af­ford­able new lots and sub­di­vi­sions into the mar­ket," Mr Red­man said.

The new laws come into ef­fect on March 31, 2017.

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