The new version of the almost invariably used standard form is almost upon us.
• the words “and/or nominee”, are added after the space left for the insertion of the name of the purchaser
• the panel headed “POSSESSION”, which provided for the insertion of the possession date, has been deleted. This is because in almost all cases the possession date and the settlement date are the same
• a new condition is added, which makes the agreement conditional upon the purchaser obtaining a building report on the condition of the buildings and other improvements on the property that is satisfactory to the purchaser, on an objective basis
• settlement by way of remote settlement is now compulsory, except in the limited circumstances permitted by the PLS Guidelines, in which case personal delivery of a bank cheque is acceptable. The purchaser’s solicitor is personally responsible for the clearance of the bank cheque• for service of a notice by email, the notice is deemed to have been served when acknowledged orally or by return email or otherwise in writing, except that return emails generated automaticallyshall not constitute an acknowledgement
• the deposit for unit title sales is to be held by the stakeholder not only until the requisition procedure has been completed and the contract has become unconditional, but also until all rights of cancellation under the Unit Titles Act 2010 have been exhausted
• the procedures relating to settlement are changed so that they refer to electronic instruments and e-dealing rather than to paper instruments. Because e-dealing is compulsory in all but a few situations, the reference to paper instruments has been removed from the form and the procedures now refer to e-dealing transactions only
• various amendments are made to facilitate compliance by the vendor with the disclosure regime under the Unit Titles Act 2010
• a vendor is allowed to recover the costs incurred by the vendor in providing an additional disclosure statement, either by including them in the settlement statement if the sale goes ahead or by deducting them from the deposit if the deposit is to be refunded upon the cancellation or avoidance of the agreement
• if the property is not untenantable on the settlement date, the purchaser must complete the purchase at the purchase price less a sum equal to the amount of diminution in value of the property which, to the extent that the destruction or damage to the property can be made good, shall be equivalent to the reasonable cost of reinstatement or repair
• the vendor now warrants that, to the best of the vendor’s knowledge, the works on the property were completed in compliance with the permits or consents to which they relate, and
• where the property is part only of the building, the vendor only has a warranty regarding a compliance certificate which prevails as at the date of the agreement, rather than at settlement and that any warranty about compliance with the compliance schedule should be limited to matters within the vendor’s knowledge.
Settlement protocols have been cleaned up, and settling by remote electronic transaction or bank cheque deposits with fax confirmation will be standard…no more face to face settlements unless agreed.
Readers can get a sample copy of the form with the changes outlined by going here.