Due diligence required for disposals of properties - a seminar on Property Marketing
Christopher Conolly presented at the Property Law Course by the Urban Development Institute of Australia on 25 October 2016 at a seminar on Property Marketing. The seminar covered the due diligence required for disposals of properties from title, zoning and survey to construction documents, environmental assessment and development consent. Of particular interest for selling off-the-plan was the tension between marketing the property (explaining to the purchaser what they acquire) and the flexibility necessary for the building and fit-out of the property.
The seminar reviewed the property reports a vendor may usefully obtain, such as environmental site investigation reports, hazardous material reports and planning reports. In particular, the issues of privity of contract, assignment of reports, disclaimers and the liability of consultants were examined.
Christopher considered the obligations of the vendor regarding the marketing materials and the application of the misleading and deceptive conduct provisions of the Australian Consumer Law. In particular, section 30 provides that a person, in trade or commerce, must not make a false or misleading representation about:
- the nature of the interest in the land;
- the price payable for the land;
- the location of the land;
- the characteristics of the land;
- the use to which the land is capable of being put or may lawfully be put; or
- the existence or availability of facilities associated with the land.
The responsibility of agents under the Property, Stock & Business Agents Act 2002 (NSW) was also covered.
The seminar concluded with a review of the use of virtual space Data Rooms to assist vendors in the marketing of commercial properties. Data Rooms can make the due diligence process easier, give greater control to vendors and provide an audit trail disclosure. The preparation, operation and contractual clauses required were examined.
Christopher would like to thank Kevin Alker and the Urban Development Institute of Australia for holding the seminar.
Christopher Conolly, Partner