Canberra Liberals introduce legislation to end unfair off-the-plan contract cancellation


Assistant Shadow Attorney-General Peter Cain will introduce a Bill next week in the ACT Legislative Assembly to prevent developers unfairly cancelling off-the-plan contracts.

Mr Cain said unfairly cancelling off-the-plan contracts is the practice of only a minority of developers, but it has devastating consequences for those who are affected.

“Canberra’s housing market is hitting record highs, and with that comes the opportunity for unscrupulous conduct from a very small minority of developers,” Mr Cain said.

“This legislation is designed to protect consumers; buyers who pay their deposit in good faith in the hope of securing a home, only to have that dream destroyed a year or two later when the developer asks them to pay up to $200,000 more or have their contract rescinded.

“This Bill means both the buyer and seller would have to agree to end a contract. If the seller has a genuine reason, other than profiteering, and the buyer doesn’t agree to the rescission, the seller can apply to the Supreme Court to have the contract ended.

“I’ve been working on this legislation since June, when affected buyers and members of the legal community highlighted to me the repeat conduct of one particular developer. It seems that the issue with this developer has become more widespread as the housing market has climbed.

“There is clearly a need to stop this practice as soon as possible, so I’d like to work productively with the government to get this Bill passed,” concluded Mr Cain.