Pain of property paperwork may disappear
Some of the paperwork pain involved in property deals might disappear if New Zealand follows the example of an Australian initiative.
The Real Estate Institute is considering whether to lobby for a law modelled on the "buyers pack" in Victoria, where buyers are entitled to cancel any contract entered into before the vendor hands over a "Section 32" pack.
There are penalties for failing to supply them, or providing incomplete information.
The idea of the Section 32 pack is to ease the process of obtaining basic information about a property. The required information includes title details, charges over the property, covenants, easements, planning restrictions, the rates, taxes, charges and similar outgoings, and services to the property such as electricity, gas, water, sewerage and telephone.
Institute chief executive Helen O'Sullivan said it was an idea worth considering for New Zealand, and the institute's board would be examining whether it should start lobbying for one law to cover all sellers.
It would have to cover all vendors, including private sales and sales by developers of their own properties, she said. At times these comprise a significant proportion of sales.
Private sales could be up to 10-11 per cent of the market, but nobody really knows because many transfers might be the result of properties going into trust.
Already some of the larger firms were a long way towards providing such a pack, said O'Sullivan. It is not uncommon for title documents, LIMs and other information to be packaged up and handed out at open homes or on request.
There is a cost to preparing such packs, but O'Sullivan said consumers should have good- quality information about the biggest transaction they will make in their lives.
If the board approves the idea, members will be consulted with a view to lobbying the government.
In Victoria, the packs tend to be compiled by lawyers at the vendor's cost, given the criminal penalties for false information.
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