Changes are being made to the form of 10.7(2) certificates which relate to the zoning particulars of a property and are mandatory for inclusion in contracts for sale of residential land in NSW.

The changes are aimed at streamlining the certificates and to “provide greater clarity, address gaps and remove information that is not useful to incoming purchasers or can be found elsewhere.”

The changes remove some apparently superfluous information requirements such as information on whether the property is ‘biophysical strategic agricultural land’, has native vegetation clearing set asides or is subject to legislative orders that no longer exist or draft planning instruments that have not been implemented within three years.

However, the changes also introduce some new information requirements, such as whether there is a legislative variation in place affecting complying development on the property and whether there any special or draft contribution plans applying to the land.

Some of the changes appear to relate to formatting only (e.g. reordering of the specific matters that are addressed in the certificates).

While these changes do appear to make the certificates more consistent across the various Councils, they have stopped short of introducing one uniform template for all LGAs.

The changes come into effect from 1 October 2022. Some Councils have indicated there may be additional delays in producing these certificates in the new format after that date. Vendors are advised to take this into account when bringing a property to market.

As to whether or not properties that have been listed prior to 1 October 2022 need to be updated with the new form of certificates, it is a difficult question. A old-version certificate less than 6 months old is still likely to be regarded as satisfying the prescribed document requirement in the Conveyancing Act 1919 (i.e. which, if not satisfied, would give the purchaser a right of rescission for 14 days). However if the new version of the certificate contains new information that would have caused the purchaser not to proceed and if they signed after 1 October 2022, the purchaser might have a right of rescission. At a minimum we think vendors should consider updating to the new format certificates for ‘high-risk’ transaction e.g. where they have a simultaneous or linked settlement.