If you are selling your property and have managed to get a buyer to sign a contract to purchase, then you will want to do everything you can to minimise the risk of termination of the contract and to make sure that the sale goes through.

There are various situations which can arise during the course of the contract that could give rise to the termination of the contract, long after the usual conditions of finance and/or building & pest are satisfied and it is recommended that you obtain legal advice prior to the buyer signing the contract if you have any concerns that may affect the transaction, or if you are unsure of the contract terms and conditions.

Standard sale contracts include various clauses which can allow the termination of the contract by the buyer, even if they have satisfied all other conditions in the contract, and these generally relate to the seller’s disclosure obligations in relation to the property.

Similarly, there are a variety of searches that can be undertaken on the property, and if there are untoward results these can also give the buyer a right to claim compensation or allow termination of the contract.

There are many different disclosure requirements that a seller must comply with, including but not limited to:

– failure to or incorrect disclosure of any encumbrances over the property (including unregistered encumbrances such as drainage/sewer pipes/stormwater), statutory encumbrances, security interests);

– incorrect information contained in the sellers warranties about the ownership and/or title to the land;

– current/threatened claims/notices or proceedings that may lead to a judgment/order/writ affecting the property;

– any outstanding obligations on the seller regarding notices under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 (EPA) and/or any facts or circumstances that may lead to the land being classified as contaminated under the EPA;

– incomplete disclosure in relation to the property being adversely affected including various disclosure requirements under the Sustainable Planning Act, the Building Act, Neighbourhood Disputes (Dividing Fences and Trees) Act 2011, and the Queensland Heritage Act;

– disclosure regarding any tenancy in the property;

– failure to comply with local laws including Gold Coast City Council Local Law No 17 (Maintenance of Works in Waterway Areas) 2013;

– various disclosure requirements under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 if the property is in a Body Corporate.

It is important that you understand that a simple omission or incomplete/incorrect disclosure could have serious ramifications on your sale contract, which could include the payment of damages/compensation, penalties, rectification and/or end with termination of the contract.

Affinity Lawyers have experienced and professional Property Lawyers who are able to review contracts of sale before they are signed, and are able to provide specific advice in relation to your disclosure obligations and/or ramifications in relation to your property sale.  Please contact our office today on 5563 8970 to discuss your particular circumstances and arrange a consultation today.