Sun sets on dodgy clauses

VICTORIANS will be protected from the sunset clause if they choose to buy off-the-plan following a historic announcement last week.

The state government will make changes to the infamous sunset clause in the Sale of Land Amendment Bill 2018 with vendors set to be forced to gain consent from the buyer or a supreme court.

These clauses can be deliberately exploited to force the termination of contracts allowing developers to sell land or apartments again, at a higher price.

The would-be buyers appear to get their deposit back but are effectively priced out of the housing market.

The City of Whittlesea has welcomed news that the state government will protect Victorians buying property off-the-plan, restricting the use of sunset clauses.

Council recently wrote to the government and opposition Leader recently seeking changes to the law to prevent developers abusing sunset clauses.

Mayor Kris Pavlidis said some developers had been taking advantage of the sunset clause.

“We were aware this issue was affecting not just our residents but land buyers across Victoria,” she said.

“So we resolved at a Council meeting in June to write to the minister and also to raise awareness in our community about this issue.”

Cr Pavlidis said she was thrilled with the news that changes would be made through the Sale of Land Amendment Bill 2018.

“It’s wonderful news that the State Government has listened to its community and made the necessary changes,” she continued.

“We are pleased to hear that off-the-plan contracts will no longer be able to be terminated by a vendor under a sunset clause without the written consent of the purchaser or by order of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

“We are confident these changes will go a long way to protecting our residents.”