2023 PROPERTY LAW CHANGES: AN ESSENTIAL UPDATE FOR QUEENSLAND SELLERS
Are you planning to sell your Queensland property?
Whether you are preparing your property for sale or considering your future moves, it is essential to note that some significant changes are on the horizon regarding sellers’ obligations.
In early 2023, the Property Law Bill 2023 was introduced into Queensland Parliament. Set to replace the Property Law Act 1974 once enacted, this legislation will alter the statutory obligations of the seller in a Contract of Sale. Previously, the approach to the purchase and sale of a property was on the basis of ‘buyer beware’, meaning that much of the burden was placed on the buyer to undertake searches and perform due diligence. The new legislation, however, will aim to amend this approach so that the seller is obligated to provide more transparency, allowing the buyer to make well-informed decisions from an earlier point in their search for their new property.
When enacted, the legislation will require the seller to provide extensive information about the property to the prospective buyer in order to aid with their decision-making. This will include supplying the buyer with a disclosure statement and each prescribed document relevant to the property, before signing the Contract of Sale. The required documents will include a title search, a registered copy of the plan, rates and water notices, a community management statement recorded for the scheme, and a body corporate certificate if the property is in a Community Titles Scheme. Further, the disclosure statement must affirm that there are no undisclosed easements, covenants, or encumbrances affecting the property.
While this may mean that the seller incurs the cost of gathering these documents before the contract is signed, the buyer will still need to perform its own due diligence, such as obtaining additional searches such as a building and pest report or flood-level searches. These procedures for the sale and purchase of a property are consistent with those currently in place in other Australian jurisdictions.
Currently, the Property Law Bill 2023 remains in Queensland Parliament for discussion. We will provide a further update to our clients when these changes come into effect.
Introducing these sellers’ obligations brings additional responsibility to ensure understanding and compliance with the regulations to limit liability. We strongly recommend that you engage an experienced professional, such as a Solicitor, to assist you with your sale.
This article is general advice only. We encourage you to contact our office if you are in need of legal advice specific to your circumstances.