- Effective from 12 September 2022, there is a new edition of the Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Land.
- While the revised statutory notices are mandatory from 1 March 2023, it is recommended that practitioners move to the new edition now to avoid issues at the expiry of the transition period.
- Comprehensive changes have been made throughout the contract with the recasting of the contract to reflect the shift to eConveyancing.
- Other changes impact matters such as execution, service in an electronic workspace, electronic funds transfer and the First Home Buyer Choice Scheme.
The catalyst for the Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Land 2022 edition (‘2022 edition’) is the commencement of the Conveyancing (Sale of Land) Regulation 2022 (‘Regulation’) on 1 September 2022. Read more about the Regulation here.
Although the Regulation did not introduce any new disclosure requirements, stylistic changes were made to some of the prescribed notices and the statutory cooling off notice, which are replicated in the Contract, hence the need for a new edition. A six month transition period is provided in respect of the revised statutory notices, meaning that:
- either the revised form or the pre-1 September 2022 form of the notices may be used in a contract which is exchanged/made from and including 1 September 2022 to 28 February 2023; and
- the revised form of the notices must be used in a contract which is exchanged/made from and including 1 March 2023.
The revised notices are included on pages 5 and 6 of the 2022 edition. A two page document containing the revised notices to enable the updating of contracts drafted using the 2019 edition, is available at the FAQs for the Law Society’s Digital Contracts Service.
To avoid issues at the expiry of the transition period, practitioners are encouraged to move to the 2022 edition without delay. The 2019 edition of the Contract for the Sale and Purchase of Land will not be sold after 31 October 2022.
But that’s not all that has changed
The changes made in the 2022 edition are far more extensive than simply the updating of some of the statutory notices. The Law Society’s Property Law Committee undertook a comprehensive review of the 2019 edition, having regard to other legislative and practice changes. A detailed Summary of Main Changes is available at the FAQs for the Law Society’s Digital Contracts Service. Some of the major changes are highlighted below.