Consumer Action has provided comment on Consumer Affairs Victoria’s discussion paper on the definition of ‘terms contract’ under the Sale of Land Act 1962.
We have argued that:
- the 2008 amendment to the definition of ‘terms contract’ has made one arm of the definition (at 29A(1)(a)) redundant, and the definition should be amended;
- however ‘terms contract’ is defined, Consumer Affairs needs to continue to review the law and include anti-evasion provisions if it is not capturing the conduct it is designed to regulate;
- there are a number of circumstances where the consumer protections provided by the National Credit Code might be avoided by vendors or promoters of terms contracts. It would be unwise to rely on the Code rather than including sufficient consumer protections in the Sale of Land Act;
- people who arrange terms contracts will be able to avoid the law regardless of how ‘terms contract’ is defined, and action needs to be taken to address the broader problems caused by this business model. In particular, the Government should take steps to ensure that people arranging terms contracts for profit should be licensed either as real estate agents or credit providers.
To read our submission, click here: The definition of ‘terms contract’ under the Sale of Land Act 1962, and an attachment to the document is available here.