Karen Murphy | Legal Requirements for selling a property in the ACT or NSW.
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Legal Requirements for selling a property in the ACT or NSW.

Legal Requirements for selling a property in the ACT or NSW.

Australian Capital Territory

Relevant legislation in the ACT requires that a contract for the sale of residential property be prepared prior to the property being marketed to a buyer. This is usually prepared and compiled by a solicitor, and the draft contract must be made available for buyers to consider before making a decision to purchase a property.

The marketing contract contains relevant Title searches, Crown Lease Conditions and Compliance Report, a Building and Pest Report, and an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) Report for a house. However, with either a Class A or Class B unit, the body corporate information is also required. This includes the s.119 certificate, insurance and copies of minutes, depending on the classification of unit being sold.

If Class A, in addition to the title searches that include the common property title search and any registered resolutions, the market contract would include:

  •  Units Plan;
  •  Lease Conveyancing enquiry;
  • EER Report; and
  • Full body corporate report.


If Class B, in addition to the title searches, the market contract would include:

  • All reports (Same as for separate title property);
  •  s.119 body corporate certificate and the body corporate insurance—often copies of two years’ body corporate minutes are also provided.


It is important that any property repairs and maintenance and improvements have been completed prior to a licensed building consultant inspecting the property and completing the building, compliance, pest and EER reports. More information about the required reports can be found in Chapter 3.

New South Wales

The contract for sale must be available for viewing by potential buyers prior to a property being marketed for sale in NSW. Putting a property on the market without having a contract prepared is an offence under NSW law, and could lead to a fine if not completed. Legislation states that all sellers must include certain information in the contract for sale and must also make certain ‘warranties’ regarding the property being sold. These obligations are known as the Vendor Disclosure Requirements.

The most common documents you may need to include with the contract are:

  • Copy of Certificate of Title.
  • A zoning certificate known as a Section 149 Certificate.
  • A sewerage drainage diagram or septic certificate.
  • Information about any easements, restrictions or covenants.


Your solicitor or conveyancer will also advise you about whether you should include:

  • An identification survey.
  • Building Certificate.
  • Home Owners Warranty Insurance Certificate.


If you are selling a strata title property, you will also need to include:

  • Copy of the property certificate for the lot and common property.
  • Copy of any change of by-law affecting the use of common property.


It is not a legal requirement to include a building and pest report or EER report, or any form of strata information other than the searches noted above; however, prudent buyers are advised to arrange completion of these reports themselves prior to committing to a contract of sale to purchase a property. Consideration should be given to inspecting either the local Council building file and/or the strata records.

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