In New South Wales, people who intend to sell land must disclose certain information under the Conveyancing Act. You must disclose all relevant information as required under this legislation to potential buyers. If you do not disclose certain documents or information to a buyer who later becomes aware of this undisclosed information, they may be able to terminate the contract of sale with you and you may be liable for costs.

While most vendors of land will have a property lawyer helping them through the process, it’s a good idea for you to know what your disclosure obligations are under law to ensure that you are complying with them. What do you have to disclose while selling a house in NSW?

What documents do I need to disclose?

There is a list of documents that you must attach to contract for the sale of land that your buyer will have access to. These are:

  • A copy of the Folio Register
  • An Environmental Planning and Assessment Certificate
  • A diagram of the sewerage system of your property
  • Evidence of any restrictions to the use of your property. For example, if there is a footpath that cross over your front lawn or a fence that is shared with your neighbours

Implied terms

Even though you can add special conditions to the standard contract for the sale of land, there will always be terms that are implied into the contract. These implied terms are regulated by legislation and exist to promote the fairness of the transaction between yourself and any buyers of your property.

Perhaps the most important implied term is in relation to undisclosed encroachments. If there is an encroachment that is not disclosed in the contract for sale then the purchaser can object to this information not being disclosed and ask for clarification on how it affects the property. You should appropriately describe to the buyer the details of the encroachment and attach a diagram of the encroachment to the contract for sale.

Implied warranties

There are also implied warranties in relation to a contract for the sale of land. These warranties generally ensure that the land being sold is not affected by any matters that are not disclosed in the contract. If the buyer later finds out that the land was in fact affected by a mortgage or council development for example, the buyer will be able to rescind the contract but will not be able to seek damages from you.

Conclusion

Selling land can be very tricky. There are a lot of documents that you will need to provide and a wide range of information that you will have to disclose in the event of a sale. If you are not already working with a lawyer to conduct this transaction, it could be in your best interests to get some legal advice from a property lawyer to help you. Many disputes arise due to information that is either not disclosed or is not properly disclosed so it is a good idea to be disclose correct information from the outset.

Lachlan McKnight
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