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New Property Laws in Queensland – What You Need to Know

New Property Laws in Queensland - What You Need to Know

The new Property Law Act 2023 passed Parliament on the 25th of October 2023, introducing both minor and major legislative change that aims to simplify, modernise and streamline Queensland’s property Laws. The new Legislation replaces the Property Law Act 1974 which has been operating for more than 50 years. The commencement date of the new Act is set by proclamation and is yet to be confirmed, the delay is to allow for consultation and education before its commencement.

Selling Property – what you need to know

Seller Disclosure Scheme

Unlike other Australian jurisdictions, Queensland has traditionally operated on a “caveat emptor” principle (‘buyer beware’), where buyers bear the responsibility of due diligence on the property they are looking to purchase.
Under the new Seller Disclosure Scheme the seller is obligated to provide a signed disclosure statement in an approved form with certain prescribed certificates to the buyer before the buyer signs the contract, either electronically or physically.

This statutory requirement includes information about:

  • the property title;
  • planning and zoning;
  • rates and water accounts;
  • body corporate information ;
  • building work;
  • infrastructure proposals;
  • energy efficiency ;
  • environmental issues.

The need to disclose applies to sales of all freehold land, including auctions, with specific exemptions.

The Act grants the buyer a right to terminate the contract at any time before settlement if the seller fails to give a disclosure or gives an inaccurate disclosure;

Enforceability Of Covenants In Easements

Under the current law, a covenant in an easement is not enforceable against future owners unless that owner agrees to be bound. Section 65 of the reformed Act operates in such a way that covenants in registered easements (regardless of whether the covenants are positive or negative) will be binding on future landowners unless the covenants are expressed to be personal.

Section 65 will apply to all easements, regardless of when the easement was entered into or registered and has a retrospective effect.

Benefits Of The New Act in land sales

The new act is expected to bring about several benefits for both buyers and sellers in the property market, such as:

  • Reducing the risk of disputes and litigation arising from inadequate or inaccurate information
  • Increasing the trust and confidence of buyers and sellers in the property transaction process
  • Improving the quality and value of properties in the market
  • Enhancing the reputation and professionalism of the real estate industry

The new act is a significant step in the modernisation of property laws in Queensland, and reflects the changing needs and expectations of consumers and the industry.

If you have any questions or need any assistance with your property transactions, please contact our team of experts today.