On 17 November 2015 NSW Parliament approved amendments to the Conveyancing Act 1919, strengthening protections for buyers who purchase properties off the plan. The amendments passed with bipartisan support.
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said the new laws are intended to prevent rogue developers from rescinding contracts using the sunset clause to make windfall profits.
“The NSW Government has listened to the community’s concerns and acted swiftly to provide home buyers with greater certainty,” he said. “Any developers who are thinking of acting unethically should know that their behaviour will no longer be tolerated.”
Effective from 2 November 2015, developers must gain the consent of a purchaser before rescinding a contract using a sunset clause. If consent is not given then the developer must apply to the Supreme Court to justify the proposed termination.
Some NSW consumers have reportedly had their contracts rescinded by a developer using the sunset clause, only for the land or apartment to be re-sold the same day for a higher price.
639 people responded to the three week public consultation which closed on 14 October. OCN was one of the industry groups also consulted.
More information about the new law is at www.lpi.nsw.gov.au.