Buyers seeking to avoid residential contracts have been able to rely on minor and technical breaches arising from, often inadvertent, failures by sellers or sellers’; agents to comply with the requirements for delivery of contracts. New amendments to the PAMDA Act removes the requirement that the warning statement must be attached to the contract in specific way, while still maintaining the requirement that a warning statement be attached and that the seller give a clear statement alerting the buyer’s attention to the warning statement.
The right to terminate lapses after 90 days after formation of the contract, so it cannot be relied on years after the event to get out of an off-the-plan sale or longer contracts. The warning statement must be attached in a secure way so that the warning statement, any information sheet and the proposed relevant contract or relevant contract appear to be a single document, for example by binding or stapling. If it is sent electronically, it must be sent at the same time as the contract – in a single email, for example. There also has to be a clear statement directing the buyer’s attention to the warning statement.
The changes while removing some of the technicalities still enable a contract to be terminated due to inadvertence usually to the detriment of a seller. The changes however still keep in mind the primary purpose of the legislation is for consumer protection.
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