What do You Have to Disclose
When Selling Your House

When you are selling a home, by law you are required to disclose particular information about the property to the buyer before you both enter into a contract.

There can be penalties for failure to disclose this information, and the buyer may also be able to terminate the contract and even recover compensation from you.

Each state has its own set of regulations that mandate what sellers must tell potential buyers.  You should get professional legal advice to ensure you are within the regulations.

Mortgage Encumbrance
This is the most common encumbrance. The lender has a financial interest in the property title until the mortgage is paid off.  This must be disclosed and the mortgage must paid off otherwise the lender can foreclose and seize the house as collateral.

Restrictive Covenants
Covenants are simply a set of rules that the property owner needs to adhere to. A covenant places a type of restriction on the use of the property. These are more common in apartment and townhouse complexes. For example, the exterior finnish needs to be a certain colour, material and detail.

An example could be if the property has a pool and there is no pool safety certificate.  This needs to be remedied or included as part of the sale contract.

Is the property leased?  If so what are the full details of the lease and when does the lease expire?

An example of an easement is a shared driveway, or another party has permission to use the land for a specified purpose.  For example an electrical or water easement for council.

Zoning is very different from state to state and even different council areas.  Examples of zoning that you need to disclose include Bushfire Zone and Flood Zone.  Check with your local authorities for the zoning of your property.

Contaminated land or environmental management register.
Do you currently or have previously had asbestos? Is an application or an order about a tree on the property?  Has there been any environmental contaminations on the property?  If so, all these details need to be disclosed.

Building consent
If you have done any renovations, you must provide the correct documentation that show that all work was performed to regulation and approved.  You must disclose any building improvements that do not have full approval.

There are other disclosures you will need to be aware of.  This article is not in any way a complete list or to be taken as professional advice.  Your solicitor will be able to assist you to ensure you satisfy all disclosure requirements.