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7 Things You Need to Know About a Section 32 Vendor Statement

December, 14th
Settled Team
Conveyancing Tips

Whether you’re buying or selling in Victoria, the Section 32 Vendor Statement is a critical document. Below, we’ll explain 7 important things you need to know about Section 32, explaining what it is, what to look for in an S32 statement, and how it impacts both buyers and sellers.

1. What is Section 32 (S32) Vendor Statement?

A Section 32 Vendor Statement is a mandatory document in Victoria, Australia, that a seller (vendor), must provide to potential buyers. This document is vital because it contains all the essential information about the property, ensuring transparency and informed decision-making. It typically includes details about the property’s title, any debts or charges against it, zoning information, and any other legal disclosures required by Victorian law.

2. Why is a Section 32 Vendor Statement Important?

The S32 statement is crucial for not just the seller of the property but also for the buyer: 

  • For sellers, the Section 32 Vendor Statement is non-negotiable. It’s a legal requirement, and failure to provide an accurate and complete statement can lead to severe consequences, including the potential for buyers to rescind their offer or contract without penalty. 
  • For buyers, this statement is a crucial tool for due diligence. It provides comprehensive insights into the property, helping to uncover any hidden liabilities, restrictions, or issues that could impact their use or ownership of the property.

3. What to Look for in a Section 32 Vendor Statement

Buyers should scrutinise the Section 32 Vendor Statement for completeness and accuracy. Key elements include:

  • Title Details: Confirming the seller’s legal right to sell the property.
  • Debts/Charges: Understanding any financial encumbrances that might transfer with the property.
  • Zoning Information: Knowing what activities or developments are permitted.
  • Building Permits and Planning Approvals: Ensuring any modifications or construction are legally approved.
  • Easements or Covenants: Identifying any restrictions or rights that might affect property use.

4. Who Puts an S32 Together?

Typically, a seller engages a conveyancer or lawyer to prepare the Section 32 Vendor Statement. This professional ensures that all legal requirements are met and that the document accurately reflects the property’s status. Their expertise is crucial in navigating the complexities of property law and safeguarding both parties against legal pitfalls.

5. When Do You Get the S32?

The Section 32 Vendor Statement should be provided to potential buyers before any contractual agreement is signed. It’s usually a part of the property inspection or inquiry process. Receiving this document early allows buyers to make informed decisions and seek legal advice if needed.

6. What If Something’s Wrong With The S32 Statement?

If the Section 32 Vendor Statement is found to be incomplete or incorrect, the buyer has the right to withdraw from the sale without penalty. This possibility places a significant responsibility on the seller to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the document. It’s a safeguard for buyers against committing to a property with undisclosed issues or liabilities.

7. Do You Need a Lawyer to Draft a Section 32 Vendor Statement?

While it’s not a legal requirement to use a lawyer to draft a Section 32 Vendor Statement, it’s highly recommended. Lawyers or conveyancers specialising in property law can ensure that all the necessary information is included and that it complies with current legal standards. For buyers, having legal assistance to review the document can provide peace of mind and clarity about the property’s legal standing.

Section 32 Example

Below is a very simple example of what a Section 32 Vendor Statement might look like. 

1. Vendor Details:

  • Name: John Smith
  • Address: 123 Example Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
  • Contact Number: 0400 000 000

2. Title Document:

  • Property Address: 456 Real Estate Road, Melbourne, VIC 3001
  • Legal Description: Lot 2 on Plan of Subdivision 123456, Certificate of Title Volume 7890 Folio 123
  • Ownership: Sole ownership by John Smith

3. Mortgages and Charges:

  • Mortgagee: Big Bank Australia
  • Outstanding Mortgage Amount: $300,000

4. Covenants, Easements, and Restrictions:

  • Easement for drainage along the northern boundary of the property
  • No building higher than two storeys as per local council covenant

5. Owner-Builder Warranty Insurance:

  • Not applicable (No recent owner-builder works completed)

6. Zoning Certificate:

  • Zoning: Residential 1
  • Permissible uses: Single dwelling, home-based business

7. Outstanding Rates and Taxes:

  • Council Rates: $1,500 per annum
  • Water Rates: $800 per annum

8. Owners Corporation Certificate:

  • Not applicable (Property is not part of an Owners Corporation)

9. Other Disclosures:

  • No current planning or building permits issued
  • No known government proposals affecting the property

Signature of Vendor:

  • Signed: John Smith
  • Date: [Date of signing]

Need Help With Your Section 32 Vendor Statement? 

Navigating the complexities of a Section 32 Vendor Statement in Victoria can be challenging, whether you’re buying or selling property. 

That’s where Settled.com.au comes in. Our expert team is here to guide you through every step, ensuring your Section 32 Vendor Statement is accurate, compliant, and clear. 

Don’t leave this crucial aspect of property transactions to chance. Reach out to Settled.com.au today and secure peace of mind for your property journey.

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Section 32 FAQs

Does s32 apply in other states in Australia or just Victoria?

Section 32 specifically applies to Victoria, Australia. Each state and territory in Australia has its regulations regarding the disclosure of information in property transactions. While similar disclosure requirements may exist in other states, they are not referred to as Section 32.

Is a vendor statement the same as a Section 32?

Yes, in Victoria, a vendor statement is commonly referred to as a Section 32. This term is derived from Section 32 of the Sale of Land Act in Victoria, which mandates the requirements for these statements.

What is a vendor statement?

A vendor statement is a legally required document provided by the seller of a property to the potential buyer. It discloses crucial information about the property, such as title details, mortgages, zoning, easements, and other relevant data that could influence the buyer’s decision.

How long does Section 32 last in Victoria?

There’s no set expiration date for a Section 32 Vendor Statement in Victoria. However, it should be current and accurate at the time of the property transaction. Significant changes to the property or its encumbrances after the creation of the Section 32 may necessitate the preparation of an updated statement.

Do I need a Section 32 for a private sale?

Yes, even in private sales, a Section 32 Vendor Statement is required by law in Victoria. Regardless of whether a real estate agent is involved, the seller must provide this document to potential buyers, ensuring full disclosure of the property’s status.

What other documents are important when buying a property?

When buying a property, important documents include the Contract of Sale, Title Deed, Inspection Reports (building and pest), Property Certificate, Easements/Covenants, Property Valuation, Financial Documents (for mortgages), Insurance Details, Local Council Records, and Homeowners Association Documents (if applicable). These documents ensure you have a complete picture of the property and its legal status.

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