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When you’ve found the property of your dreams there’s usually a whole lot of legal documents your solicitor or conveyancer will go through on your behalf before you put pen to paper and purchase. Two of the most important documents in this process are the contract of sale and the Section 32 Statement – as it’s known in Victoria – or the Vendor’s Statement.

The Section 32 Statement is critical as it tells you everything you should know about the title of the property before you sign the contract. It’s usually prepared by the seller’s solicitor and gives information not readily found by a routine inspection.

There’s a whole range of information covered including rates, mortgages, how council will zone the land, rights by someone else to use the land in relation to sewerage or draining, whether the property is in a bushfire prone area and covenants. In its simplest term these are agreements which require the owner to engage in or refrain from doing something – for example, stating that no more than one dwelling is to be constructed on the land.

What a Section 32 Statement doesn’t tell you is what the condition is like of the property or the building it’s in, if the property complies with building regulations or the accuracy of the measurements on the title. There are other ways you can find this information out such as undertaking a building inspection.

The Section 32 Statement is a legal document and must be factually accurate. If it isn’t, you can walk away from the sale or even take legal action. This is why it’s important to get your legal representative to check it first before you make one of the biggest financial commitments you’re likely to make.