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Client Update: Queensland property legislation passed (incl 20% deposit)

10 September 2014

In brief: The Land Sales and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014, which will streamline the sale of property in Queensland, was passed by the Queensland Parliament yesterday. Partner Alister Fitzgerald provides a brief recap of what this means.

Background

The Queensland Land Sales and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 (the Amendment Act) amends the following legislation:

  • Land Sales Act 1984;
  • Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM);
  • Legal Profession Act 2006;
  • Property Law Act 1974; and
  • Property Occupations Act 2014,

and some other related legislation.

In general terms the effect of the amendments is to:

  • remove ambiguous or archaic language;
  • ensure all strata provisions are placed in the BCCM;
  • increase the maximum deposit that may be paid under 'off the plan' contracts to 20%, without triggering the instalment contract provisions under the Property Law Act.

For further background on the legislation, read our earlier article Client Update: More (good) Queensland property law changes (inc. up to 20% deposits!!).

Additional amendments

Based on submissions to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee which reviewed the Amendment Act, a number of further amendments were made. The main additional amendments were:

  • Ensuring that the removal of the requirement to provide additional disclosure to buyers on entry into a contract following the exercise of an option applies both in the case of a put or call option.
  • Clarifying the disclosure material required to be given in regard to retaining walls.
  • Clarifying the circumstances when a deposit holder can be taken to consider a dispute may arise in regard to a deposit it holds. An example has been included, namely where a party to a contract has not taken the required action to complete it or has not made contact with the other party to explicitly state a dispute has arisen.
  • Including volumetric format lot plan disclosure requirements in the Land Sales Act.

When will it commence

The Amendment Act is to commence on the same date that the Property Occupation Act commences. At this stage it is hoped commencement will be later this year but regulations are still to be issued under the Property Occupations Act.

What should developers do?

Review all of their contracts to make sure they are consistent with the Amendment Act. This will involve amendment of a number of provisions and updating disclosure documents.

It is recommended that developers commence using the updated documents now, while ensuring compliance with the current law. In this way, the commencement will not impact on outstanding contracts that are with buyers but have not been entered into.

For further information, please contact:

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