Statutory Declaration: What It Means for Australian Expats Buying Property in Australia

If you’re an Australian expat living overseas interested in purchasing property in Australia, understanding the legal requirements and processes involved is crucial. One important document you may come across is a statutory declaration, also known as a stat dec.

In this article, we walk you through everything you need to know about stat decs in Australia for a smooth home loan process. From creating one to relevant examples of a stat dec, we’ve got you covered.

What is a Statutory Declaration?

A statutory declaration is a legally binding written statement that declares specific facts to be true. It is an important document used in various legal, administrative, and official contexts in Australia.

Stat decs serve as a means of affirming the truthfulness of certain facts or circumstances. They provide a formal and legally recognised way for individuals to make statements that carry legal weight. As an Australian expat, there may be situations where you need to make official declarations about personal details, changes in name, address, or other pertinent information.

Stat decs are recognised and governed by specific legislation in Australia, ensuring their legal validity. They are often used to establish the truth of a matter when no other supporting documentation is available or required. The declaration should be made voluntarily and in good faith, with the understanding that making false statements can result in serious legal consequences.

Falsely making a statutory declaration or providing false information within a declaration is considered a criminal offence and can lead to severe penalties, including fines and imprisonment. It is crucial to always provide truthful and accurate information when making a statutory declaration.

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Common Scenarios Requiring Statutory Declarations

As an Australian expatriate living overseas, you may encounter situations where you need to provide a statutory declaration. Here are a few scenarios where a stat dec becomes essential.

  • Property Transactions: If you plan to buy or sell property in Australia remotely, a stat dec may be required to establish your identity, declare your intention, or provide additional information to comply with legal obligations.
  • Immigration Matters: Whether you’re applying for an Australian visa or providing supporting documents for immigration purposes, a statutory declaration can help validate your statements, provide evidence of relationships, or clarify your intentions.
  • Legal Proceedings: In certain legal cases, a stat dec can be used as evidence or a supporting document. It ensures the authenticity and credibility of the statements made, making it a valuable tool in legal proceedings.
  • Name Changes: If you have legally changed your name, whether through marriage, divorce, or other means, a stat dec can be used to declare and validate the change. This is particularly relevant for Australian expats living overseas who may need to update their records or provide proof of name change.
  • Official Declarations: Stat decs are often required for official purposes, such as declaring residency, confirming your identity, or attesting to your marital status. These help establish your status or provide relevant information when dealing with government agencies, financial institutions, or legal entities.
  • Verification of Facts: In some cases, you may need to provide a stat dec to verify specific facts or events. For example, you may be required to declare certain details about your financial situation or intentions for property ownership.

Creating a Statutory Declaration

Now that you understand the importance of statutory decs, let’s explore how to create one. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.

Step 1: Understand the Purpose

Familiarise yourself with the purpose and requirements of the stat dec. Ensure you know why you must create one and what information should be included.

Step 2: Use the Correct Form

Different states in Australia may have specific statutory declaration forms. Ensure you use the appropriate form for the state where the document will be used. For example, in New South Wales (NSW), you should use the stat dec NSW form. You can check out the relevant forms from the “State-Specific Requirements for Statutory Declarations” section below.

Step 3: Gather Information

Collect all the necessary information and details you need to include in your stat dec. This may include personal information, addresses, dates, and specific statements you wish to declare.

Step 4: Write the Declaration

Begin writing your statutory declaration by stating your full name, address, occupation, and other personal details as required. Clearly state the purpose of the declaration and the facts you are attesting to.

Step 5: Seek Witness and Sign

A stat dec requires the presence of an authorised witness who can verify your identity and witness your signature. Depending on the state, this could be a Justice of the Peace (JP), a lawyer, or another authorised individual. Ensure the witness signs and provides their details as required.

Step 6: Retain Copies

Keep copies of your completed statutory declaration for your records. It’s important to have a copy for your own reference and to provide additional copies as needed for the relevant parties involved.

Statutory Declaration Sample Letter for Australia

We’ve provided a sample letter below to help you understand the structure and content of a statutory declaration. This stat dec example follows the format and requirements typically expected in Australia.

Statutory Declaration Example

I, <name>

make the following declaration under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959:

<declaration>

<optional email address or phone number>

 

I understand that a person who intentionally makes a false statement in a statutory declaration is guilty of an offence under section 11 of the Statutory Declarations Act 1959, and I believe that the statements in this declaration are true in every particular.

<signature of the person making the declaration>

 

Declared at     <place>     on     <day>     of     <month and year>

Before me,

<signature of witness>

<full name, qualification, and address of witness>

<optional email address or phone number of witness>

Please note that this stat dec example is a sample for reference purposes only. It’s essential to tailor your stat dec according to your specific circumstances and the requirements of the state in which it will be used.

State-Specific Requirements for Statutory Declarations

While statutory declarations remain consistent across Australia, it’s crucial to be aware of state-specific requirements. Each state or territory may have variations in the format, wording, and authorised witnesses for statutory declarations. Let’s explore some key differences.

Stat Dec NSW

In New South Wales, the statutory declaration form provided by the NSW Department of Customer Service is commonly used. The authorised witnesses include Justices of the Peace, lawyers, or other authorised individuals. You can find the templates in the NSW Statutory Declaration forms section.

Statutory Declaration Form QLD

Queensland has its own statutory declaration form, which is available on the Queensland Government’s website. You can choose between the print version or the electronic version. The authorised witnesses in Queensland include Justices of the Peace, commissioners for declarations, lawyers, or other individuals authorised under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (Cth).

Stat Dec SA

In SA, the authorised witnesses for statutory declarations include Justices of the Peace (JPs), public notaries, lawyers, police officers of or above the rank of sergeant, and other individuals listed in Schedule 2 of the Oaths Act 1936. Here’s the Stat Dec SA form from the South Australian Government Services and Information website.

NT Stat Dec

In the NT, authorised witnesses for statutory declarations include Justices of the Peace (JPs), lawyers, police officers, court registrars, and other individuals specified in the Oaths, Affidavits and Statutory Declarations Act 2005. You can download the NT Stat Dec from the statutory declarations section on the Northern Territory Government Information and Services website.

WA Statutory Declaration Form

In WA, the authorised witnesses for statutory declarations include Justices of the Peace (JPs), lawyers, public notaries, court officers, and other individuals specified in the Oaths, Affidavits, and Statutory Declarations Act 2005. Here’s the WA Statutory Declaration form.

VIC Stat Dec

In Victoria, the authorised witnesses for statutory declarations are Justices of the Peace, lawyers, or other individuals authorised under the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (Cth). You can download the VIC Stat Dec from the statutory declarations section on the Victoria State Government’s Department of Justice and Community Safety website.

Stat Dec TAS

In Tasmania, the authorised witnesses for statutory declarations include Justices of the Peace (JPs), lawyers, public notaries, and other individuals specified in the Evidence Act 2001. You can download the TAS Stat Dec from the statutory declaration section on the Tasmanian Government’s Department of Justice website.

ACT Stat Dec

In the ACT, the authorised witnesses for statutory declarations include Justices of the Peace (JPs), lawyers, public notaries, and others specified in the Statutory Declarations Act 1959 (Cth). You can find the ACT Stat Dec on the ACT Government website.

It’s essential to consult the relevant state authorities or legal professionals to ensure compliance with the specific requirements in your state or territory.

Get Help With Your Stat Decs

Navigating the process of statutory declarations in Australia is essential for Australian expats interested in property transactions. You can ensure a smooth and efficient process by understanding the purpose, following state-specific requirements, and creating accurate and legally compliant stat decs.

Remember to consult the relevant state authorities or legal professionals to stay updated on any changes in statutory declaration requirements. If you want to learn more or need help with your stat decs, reach out to us for guidance tailored to your unique home buying journey.

Get a free Australian mortgage assessment today.

Apply online to get a free recommendation with real rates and repayments.

Frequently asked questions

A statutory declaration is a statement of facts declared true and signed in the presence of an authorised witness. You may need a stat dec for various reasons, including name changes, official declarations, or fulfilling legal requirements.

Yes, Australian expats living overseas may have specific requirements when it comes to statutory declarations. It is important to ensure the declaration is executed in compliance with Australian legislation and regulations. Our guide provides detailed information and step-by-step instructions to assist you in meeting these requirements.

Generally, stat decs from other countries are not accepted for Australian purposes. Australian statutory declarations must adhere to specific guidelines and requirements outlined by Australian law. Utilising the sample letters and form examples provided above is recommended to ensure your statutory declaration is valid and accepted in Australia.

The statutory declaration forms can vary between Australian states and territories. To access the correct forms, visit the official websites of the respective state or territory governments or check out the above “State-Specific Requirements for Statutory Declarations” section for the links.

Absolutely! At Odin Mortgage, we have a team of experts well-versed in the intricacies of statutory declarations. We can provide personalised guidance and assistance throughout the entire process, ensuring your declarations are accurate and comply with legal requirements.

The validity period of a statutory declaration can vary depending on the purpose and requirements set out by the receiving party or authority. It is important to consult the specific guidelines for your declaration’s intended use to determine the appropriate validity period.

If you discover an error or mistake in your stat dec, it is essential to rectify it promptly. Making amendments to stat decs may involve different procedures depending on the circumstances and the stage at which the error is identified.

While a statutory declaration can cover multiple related facts, creating separate declarations for distinct purposes is generally recommended. This ensures clarity and avoids confusion when presenting the declaration to different parties or authorities.

In most cases, stat decs require the declarant’s personal signature in the presence of an authorised witness. Delegating someone else to sign on your behalf is not usually permissible. However, there may be exceptional circumstances where alternative arrangements can be made. It is essential to consult the relevant authorities or seek legal advice to understand your available options.

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