At Nicholas James Lawyers, we understand that with the increasing number of apartment complexes and Estates – both large and small – being developed in and around Melbourne, subdivisions and off-the-plan sales are becoming increasingly popular with investors and occupiers alike.
As a result, many investors and occupiers are now debating whether buying off-the-plan (that is, before the building is built and/or subdivided) is a better option than buying an existing property. Whatever option they choose, buyers and developers must be aware of and understand their rights and duties under off-the-plan contracts.
While buying off-the-plan might be risky because the building isn’t usually completed or finished when the contract is signed, there are safeguards in place to ensure that buyers get exactly what they paid for.
The Victorian Government has recently legislated a mandatory Notice that must be ‘conspicuous’ to purchasers’ of off-the-plan transactions (Section 9AA(1A) of the Sale of Land Act 1962 Vic). The Notice must state that between the signing of the off-the-plan contract and the settlement date, the property’s value may change.
Before signing any paperwork, a knowledgeable purchaser should consult with a lawyer. It is critical for the buyer to understand what may be altered, or is permitted to be changed, under the off-the-plan contract. If you are contemplating an off-the-plan purchase, please contact Nicholas James Property Lawyers for detailed advice on your rights and obligations before signing the contract.
At Nicholas James Lawyers, our team of specialised property lawyers can help you safely navigate the complexities of subdivisions and off-the-plan sales. Having an experienced solicitor is important to ensure you are given sound, pre-contractual advice, and clarity around any legal terminology that you may not understand, while making sure you understand all your rights and responsibilities.