Property buyers will have more power when purchasing off-the-plan as a result of a state government crackdown.

Changes under the Sale of Land Amendment Bill, which will come into effect this month, will mean developers can only exercise a sunset clause with written consent from the buyer or by an order of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Before the changes, developers could exploit sunset clauses by delaying construction, terminating contracts and then re-selling properties for higher prices.

Up to 100 buyers last year were affected by developer Grassylands Pty Ltd’s decision to trigger sunset clause provisions for the first three stages of land sold at Emerald Park estate in Tarneit.

At the time, a Grassylands spokesman said it had invoked the provisions because it had been unable to have subdivision plans registered with the land titles office by the required date.

Consumer Affairs Minister Marlene Kairouz said the changes to the bill were aimed at protecting buyers and restoring confidence in the property market.

“We’re taking action to make sure that Victorians aren’t being ripped off … the days of misusing sunset clauses to make super profits are over,” Ms Kairouz said.

She said that the new laws on sunset clauses would be backdated to August 23 last year, when the legislation was announced.