“Greater protections” for off the plan buyers, promises NSW Government

Monday 02 November 2015

Article by Rebeccah Elley

You’ve probably heard the off the plan disaster stories like Tara Ende’s when her developer rescinded on the contract of her Surry Hills apartment, just days after she’d contacted her bank to pay the balance.

The reason the developer was able to cancel Tara’s contract was because the work was delayed past the sunset day. The case with Tara and many others in her situation is the developer then goes on to re-sell the land or apartment for a higher price.

But now things are about to change for delayed off the plan developments, as the NSW Government revealed today it will be releasing new laws that mean developers will now have to justify any sunset clause termination of an off the plan sale.

A statement by the NSW Government explained, “If a purchaser does not give their consent, then a developer will be required to apply to the Supreme Court for leave before any termination can take effect."

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Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said that the NSW Government had listened to the concerns of its citizens and is taking action. “We are committed to ensuring certainty in the property market and to protecting the rights of those who purchase off the plan properties.” 

While Dominello said the majority of developers do the right thing the Government is putting any developers on notice from this day forward, “if they use a sunset clause for no other reason than to reap a windfall profit at the expense of the purchaser – then they do so at their own peril.”

This new legislation will not only aim to protect those entering into off the plan agreements after the law comes into effect but also those with current off the plan contracts.

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