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Australia
Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Property with Material Disclosure – How Far Back ?

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In recent years, Australian Consumer Law, makes it mandatory for sellers / vendor of residential houses of other property, to make material disclosures, so that purchasers are aware of the property’s details, in Vendor disclosure. This has come about, when in 2004, LJ Hooker tried to sell the Gonzales family, in North Ryde, murdered inside by their son. The purchasers found out by third parties and went to Fair Trading, getting the Contract rescinded, their deposit refunded, with the Agent fined $20,000.00.
Since then, Vendor disclosure laws have been tightened up, to make mandatory for Material Disclosure. What is Material Disclosure? Any event, history, feature, detail or known, that the Vendor is aware of, that needs to be discoursed to the Purchaser, that may impact on their buying decision. For example, a murder or homicide, past tenant drug or illegal activity, record of the house been haunted, asbestos issues or event neighbour disputes.
Isn’t it Buyer Be Aware ?
Under Vendor disclosure and Warranty, Sale of Contract Conveyancing Law, with Material Disclosure, Australian Consumer Law, Vendor’s are legally bounded to disclosure in the Sale Contract, if they know about it. The Vendor would not breach disclosure laws, if for example, after exchange with the buyers, as sold, did not know about it afterwards, when it comes in the media about a highway or railway proposal for the local area. In this case, the Purchasers have no recourse against the Vendors and compensation would only occur, after settlement, by the acquiring public authority, if the Purchaser receive notice, if the property is directly affected. Case law of transmission lines, vendor note aware if it, Purchaser was not directly affected with any acquiring notice after settlement and failed against claim with Vendor. If the Purchaser was directed affected, then the public authority (Transgrid) would compensate under the Land Acquisition (Just Terms) Compensation Act.
How far do you go in Material Disclosure ?
Australia’s history of convicts’ deaths, deaths with bushrangers and indigenous deaths too. A mere known story of Ned Kelly once entered the house, shot and killed someone in the 1800s, best to be safe and have it disclosed, in the Sale of Contract, rather than having a non-disclosure, than risking the grounds, the Purchasers can used it to rescind, demand full refund of deposit.

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