The Victorian government is reviewing vendor statements in an attempt to cut red tape for business and communities.
The vendor statement (section 32) laws were written before the rise of the internet and need an update, according to the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV).
“It is timely to review the requirements of the section 32, particularly to ensure that there is not excessive red tape or requirements that add unnecessary expense to the sale process," said Robert Larocca, policy and public affairs manager at the REIV.
“Whilst the current vendor disclosure requirements generally strike the right balance, they were written well before the internet, it would therefore be also sensible to ensure they take that into account."
“The REIV is in the process of seeking feedback from its members, to see what they think needs to change and how red tape can be minimised.”
The government said it is looking to review the range of matters currently disclosed through statements, whether the range of matters required to be disclosed on a vendor’s statement is appropriate and if alternative methods are available for disclosing this information prior to sale.
“We are conducting the review as part of the Victorian Coalition government’s commitment to cutting red tape and the resulting costs, while also maintaining consumer protections,” said consumer affairs minister, Michael O’Brien.
“The discussion paper invites community and stakeholder debate around the effectiveness of Section 32 and how this section might be reformed for the benefit of both the buyer and seller.”
“Section 32 was introduced in 1982 to close the information gap that often exists between buyers and sellers,” Mr O’Brien said.
“In the 30 years since vendor statements were introduced, the amount of information required to be disclosed has grown, as has the size of the document. It’s appropriate to take stock and ask if we’re doing this the best way possible.”
The government said a property inspection alone may not necessarily reveal all the information a prospective buyer needs to make a decision, which places the buyer at a disadvantage.
The vendor’s statement, introduced in 1982, requires sellers to disclose certain information to prospective buyers. However, the amount of information required to be disclosed has grown, along with the size of vendor’s statements.
The review will also examine the volume and complexity of the information being disclosed.
The first step in the review is the release of a discussion paper – Review of section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962 - which is open for consultation.
The general public, estate agents, legal practitioners and conveyancers are encouraged to make submissions. The closing date for submissions is 20 December 2012.