Australia — The Victorian Government has amended the Sale of Land Act, so the seller or vendor will need to disclose the information under section 32 of the Act.
The Minister for Consumer Affairs, Heidi Victoria, says the change is a recommendation of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
She says the change will give buyers more legal protection.
“This is more pre-emptive, making sure that people are aware that when they’re purchasing, especially if they’re not from an area, that they may well be in a [fire] prone area and we want them to be able to have that sort of information before they make what is ultimately the biggest decision of people’s lives,” she said.
“I think it’s probably important to note that people will need to look on a website to see if this is something that needs to go onto section 32, and if they go to the property reports section at land.vic.gov.au and put in the address it will tell them straight away.”
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria says the changes will provide greater certainty to prospective buyers.
The institute’s Neville Sanders says he does not think it will affect property prices.
“Not really because the information is readily available and that’s the key, if the information was hard to find or it was subjective like an opinion but it’s freely available – it’s been put in place as part of the Minister for Planning’s role,” he said.
“I don’t believe so because again it’s really stating what would be fairly obvious to anybody that’s had a good look around a particular site they’re looking at buying and or … that particular locality.”
The new disclosure laws will come into effect at the end of the month.