Off the Plan Sales – Sunset Clauses

Wrong sunset date

Every off the plan contract of sale has a sunset clause in which to register the plan of subdivision, the penultimate step prior to settlement. The default or statutory period of 18 months applies, if another sunset date has not been stipulated. It is the vendor’s solicitor who prepares the off-the-plan contract. One of the fundamental terms of the contract, is the registration date. We act on your instructions, thus if you believe the construction period will be say 15 months, you need to allow buffers for marketing and sales, finance, building permits, demolition and construction plus a margin. Thus it is not unusual to see a registration date of 36 months. In one case, a practitioner was instructed to include a period of 36 months in which to register the plan of subdivision but instead included a 12 months sunset date. One purchaser rescinded based on the 12 month sunset date.

By virtue of section 9AE of the Sale of Land Act Vic which entitles a vendor to set a registration date, once set it cannot be varied or extended, unless both parties to the contract agree. refer Clifford v Solid Investments 2009.

The subdivision of land is complex. We recommend clients obtain expert advice: their lawyer, surveyors, town planners, engineers and accountants

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