Updated Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulations

From 1 September 2017 three major changes were introduced into the Conveyancing Regulations, Schedule 1, being the documents which must be attached to a Contract for Sale of Land.

Sewer Diagrams

The first change to the prescribed documents relates to the diagrams from the recognised sewer authority. The sewer authority may be the local council or water authority for the area, for example Sydney Water or Hunter Water. No longer is one drainage diagram sufficient for a Contract for Sale in the case where a sewer mains diagram and sewer connections diagram are both available.

The regulation states that the following documents must be attached:

“(a)       the location of any sewer line on the land upstream of the point of connection to the authority’s sewer main (including the point of connection).

(b)        the location of the authority’s sewerage infrastructure for the property downstream of the point of the connection to the authority’s sewer main (including the point of connection)”

Strata By-Laws 

The second change was made to Section 6 of the Regulations which refers to freehold strata schemes. The regulation now states that the following documents must be attached:

“(c)       a copy of the by-laws in force for the strata scheme”

All by-laws are either registered with the Strata Plan or recorded on Common Property Title under the second schedule.  A Common Property Title may directly state the model by-laws appropriate or may refer to the date of the registration of the strata plan.

Should the Common Property Title refer to the registration date of the strata plan the following will apply:-

  1. For strata plans registered prior to 1 July 1997, by-law provided for in Schedule 2 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 is applicable.
  2. For strata plans registered after 1 July 1997 but before 1 September 2005, the relevant by-laws are set out in Strata Schemes Management Regulation 1997.
  3. For all strata plans after 1 September 2005, Schedule 3 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 will apply as all other Regulations were repealed.[3]

A copy of the model by-laws can be found here.

A registry has been established which allows a search to be carried out as not all changes made to the by-laws are noted on the Common Property Title.

In accordance with the Strata Management Act 2015 a change to the by-laws do not have effect until:-

“(a)       the owners corporation has lodged a notification with the Registrar-General in the manner approved by the Registrar General.

(b)        The Registrar General has made an appropriate recording of the notification in the folio of the Register for the common property”

It should be noted by the Act that the Registrar General will not accept a notification if the change of by-law was carried out over 6 months ago

Asbestos Notice

The final major change to the Regulations adds a further notice to be included in the Contract for Sale of Land. It is important to note that the notice must be legible.  The heading must be in capital letters, in bold and 14 point text.  The balance of the notice must be in 10 point text.

The notice is to read:

WARNING LOOSE-FILL ASBESTOS INSULATION

Before purchasing land that includes any residential premises (within the meaning of Division 1A of Part 8 of the Home Building Act 1989) built before 1985, a purchaser is strongly advised to consider the possibility that the premises may contain loose-fill asbestos insulation (within the meaning of Division 1A of Part 8 of the Home Building Act 1989).  In particular, a purchaser should:

  • search the Register required to be maintained under Division 1A of Part 8 of the Home Building Act 1989, and
  • ask the relevant local council whether it holds any records showing that the residential premises contain loose-fill asbestos insulation.

For further information about loose-fill asbestos insulation (including areas in which residential premises have been identified as containing loose-fill asbestos insulation), contact NSW Fair Trading.

The loose-fill asbestos insulation register can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website.  The register will advise if there is a match or no match on the register.

It is extremely important to ensure that all Contracts exchanged after 1 September 2017 include the required changes for both vendors and purchasers.  Should one of the prescribed documents, along with all other prescribed documents, not be included in the Contract for Sale at the time exchange of Contracts takes place, pursuant to Part 5.17(1)(a) of the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulations 2017 a purchaser may rescind the Contract for failure to attach.

If a purchaser were to rescind the Contract they would be entitled to a refund of any deposit paid by the purchaser at the time of exchange.

If a vendor is terminated on as a result of failure to attach a prescribed document, the vendor may find their Solicitor or Conveyancer liable to cover any losses if the Contract was not prepared correctly.

If you are looking to buy or sell property and want to be assured that your contract complies with all of the new rules and regulations, please give our team at Adams & Partners a call.

Megan is a Licensed Conveyancer and a Director with Adams & Partners. She has worked with the firm since 1998. She is responsible for our Property and Conveyancing Team. Megan uses her expertise and knowledge to provide a better service to all clients who are either buying or selling real estate. Read more about Megan here.

About Megan Johnson

Megan is a Licensed Conveyancer and a Director with Adams & Partners. She has worked with the firm since 1998. She is responsible for our Property and Conveyancing Team. Megan uses her expertise and knowledge to provide a better service to all clients who are either buying or selling real estate. Read more about Megan here.