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What is a Section 32? (And do I need one?)

Whether you’re selling or buying a property, one document you’ll definitely encounter along the way is a Section 32 – also known as a Vendor’s Statement.

As Geelong’s property transfer experts, we can prepare or review your paperwork, including your Section 32, but it’s great to know the basics for your own piece of mind.

The Section 32 explained

A Section 32 document is provided by a property seller (the vendor) to a potential buyer. The Section 32 must contain all of the legally required information about the property in question. This disclosure of information will generally include:

Vendor’s details – Including name and address

Title Search and Copy of the Plan – Including a description of the property (property dimensions) and details regarding who currently owns (and is authorised to sell) the property.

*Remember: a vendor not listed on the Certificate of Title may still be authorised to sell, but further investigation will be required.*

Restrictions on the land – ‘Covenants’ and ‘easements’ will also be listed on the title and plan documentation. A covenant is a restriction on how the land may be used (only one dwelling may be permitted on the property, for instance). An easement refers to access granted to other parties to use the property in some way (a shared driveway, perhaps, or council access to a sewerage pipe).

*Remember: an easement may impact your plans for renovations – consider these carefully.*

Mortgages or ‘charges’ over the land – These details will also appear on the Title Search Document and show the current debts or liabilities held over the property.

Zoning – Detailing how the local council will allow the property to be used – whether for residential, commercial or mixed-use purposes.

Building permits – The Section 32 must communicate the details of any building permits issued in the past seven years.

*Remember: If you are a buyer and understand that renovations have been made to the property, but no building permits have been provided, you have the right to make additional enquiries of the seller.*

Notices of any upcoming works – Have the authorities given notice of (or ordered) changes in the area of the property? These could include, for example, amended fencing laws or a planned road-widening project.

Bushfire danger – If the property is located in an identified bushfire prone area, this must also be disclosed.

The Section 32 for property sellers

● This disclosure document is required by law and it is thus in the best interests of the vendor to make sure the statement is accurate and complete.

● It is advisable for the seller to have the Section 32 prepared before putting a property on the market and, due to the legal nature of the vendor statement, it is recommended that the seller get the document prepared by a lawyer or conveyancer.

Our experienced property lawyers can prepare your Section 32 paperwork to ensure the document is ready and meets the requirements of the law.

The Section 32 for property buyers

● The Section 32 should provide a potential buyer with the relevant details – including those that may not be immediately apparent when inspecting a property – to make an informed decision about purchasing the property. Buyers should thus pay close attention to all details disclosed in the document.

We strongly recommend discussing the Section 32 document with our conveyancing lawyers to help interpret the various parts of the document, to decode the language, and to explain the details as they may relate to your situation.

Contact Cahill Rowe Conveyancing

Cahill Rowe Conveyancing’s combination of expert legal advice along with experience drafting and reviewing property-related agreements will ensure your legal rights are protected. If you require guidance on a property or conveyancing matter, contact the best property lawyers in Geelong at Cahill Rowe Conveyancing on (03) 5292 1994 or email madi@cahillroweconveyancing.com.au