Before a property is sold, the seller must provide the buyer with a ‘vendor’s statement’ or ‘section 32’.
This is usually prepared by the seller’s legal practitioner or conveyancer. It is then signed by the seller and made available to prospective buyers, usually by the agent before the sale or auction. The buyer may then have the statement checked by his or her own legal practitioner or conveyancer prior to purchase.
The vendor’s statement contains information about the property’s title, including mortgages, covenants, easements, zoning and outgoings such as rates. It does not include any information about the condition of buildings, whether they comply with building regulations or if measurements on the certificate of title (or similar documents evidencing title) are accurate. It is the buyer’s responsibility to find out about anything not covered in the vendor’s statement.
The information that must be included in the vendor’s statement is outlined in section 32 of the Sale of Land Act 1962. This can be viewed online at the Victorian legislation and parliamentary documents website.
The vendor’s statement is a legal document and must be factually accurate and complete. If the vendor’s statement contains false, incorrect or insufficient information, a buyer may be able to withdraw from the sale or take legal action.
Source: Consumer Affairs Victoria