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QLD has passed new Property Laws... after 50 years...change is coming but will it throw the real estate industry into a frenzy? "Agent Beware"

In October 2023, the Queensland Government enacted the Property Law Bill (2023), which replaces the previous Property Law Act of 1974.

The Queensland Law Society, together with the drafters of the legislation are liasing with Government bodies and interested groups are yet to finalise the new Property Law Regulations and until this work is complete the legislation is set to be effective from a date yet to be declared. This Bill introduces significant reforms to the process of buying and selling property in Queensland. Under the new law, sellers are obligated to provide potential buyers with a comprehensive disclosure statement and specific certificates concerning the property before the execution of a sales contract and the prescribed form will be set out in the regulations.

Should the seller fail to supply these documents accurately or if there is an error or omission regarding important details of the property at the time of Contract, the buyer has the right to cancel the sales agreement at any point before the completion of the transaction. This provision is particularly relevant if the undisclosed or incorrectly stated information would have deterred the buyer from entering into the agreement.

The required disclosure statement must encompass several key pieces of information, including but not limited to:

  1. A title search,

  2. A survey plan registered with the authorities,

  3. Any orders affecting the property, such as those issued by QCAT concerning disputes over trees and fences,

Additionally, for properties within a community title scheme, it must also include:

  1. A body corporate information certificate, a community management statement (CMS), and

  2. The scheme's bylaws that are not captured within the CMS.

Sellers must also provide documentation verifying compliance with pool safety regulations, notices from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC), environmental protection notices, and the latest statements of rates and water charges.

The legislation aims to improve transparency for buyers, contributing to a more secure and informed property transaction process in Queensland. This shift appears to align Queensland more closely with the disclosure regime seen in New South Wales.

However, it raises concerns about whether real estate agents in Queensland will continue to confidently manage the preparation of these sales contracts often without the intervention of solicitor (as is currently the case), given the increased liability for errors that could give buyers grounds to terminate the agreements and leave real estate agents at risk of being sued.

The Contract of Sale is a legal document and should not be prepared by a real estate agent or entered into without legal advice ever more so with the change of laws.

Our office is ready for the change in laws, so if you are a real estate agent, buyer or seller, contact us for more information or assistance.

Nadine Wismayer

Legal Practitioner Director

4 February 2024

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