3 Critical Changes in Property Conveyancing Laws

Posted on: 25 August 2020


Owning property is a milestone for most people, mainly because of the significant amount of money involved. Potential property buyers are advised to hire a property attorney to help navigate the complex property conveyancing process. An attorney guarantees a secure and genuine transaction and helps to speed up a conveyancing process. That said, property conveyancing laws are not cast in stone, and they change from time to time. Therefore, it is crucial to stay updated on any changes regarding property conveyancing laws. Read on for some of the most recent changes.

Sunset Clause 

The sunset clause is among the many terms, conditions and inclusions of a property sale agreement. The sunset clause solely touches on off-the-plan dwellings, and it places a limit on how long a developer should complete a property. Additionally, it allows a buyer to terminate a contract if a developer does not complete a property within the specified time. Unfortunately, developers have misused this clause by intentionally prolonging development since they know that a buyer is only entitled to the deposit upon contract termination. However, the government recently revised the sunset clause to protect property buyers. For example, property developers are expected to provide buyers with a written notice explaining the reasons for any delays.

Cooling-Off Notice 

As mentioned earlier, buying a property is a significant investment; therefore, it is not strange for some people to change their minds even after signing a contract of sale. Previously, buyers that changed their minds received hefty fines as a form of deterrence. However, lawmakers understood the need for buyers to reconsider their decision, and that is why they introduced the cooling-off period. Unfortunately, it is not clear who a buyer should issue a sale termination notice. While the law previously insisted that a buyer issues such a notice to a seller, it is not the case today. The reason is that some sellers would avoid all manner of contact with a buyer during the cooling-off period. Consequently, it made it difficult for buyers to provide a notice of termination in good time. However, the new changes to property conveyancing law allow buyers to give a notice of termination to a seller's real estate agent.

Section 27 Statement 

It is standard practice for property buyers to pay a deposit once a conveyancing process begins. Usually, the deposit is held in trust by a conveyancing attorney to protect both parties. The deposit is only released to a seller once the process is completed. However, a seller might need to access the deposit before a property sale is completed. In this regard, sellers can fill the Section 27 statement to request the early release of the deposit. Although access to the deposit is not guaranteed, the new law provides an avenue through which property sellers can convince buyers to release the funds.