A rewrite of the Property Law Act 1974 will soon be in force in Queensland, although the date the changes will take effect is yet to be announced.
The greatest impact on the property market will likely come from the new seller disclosure requirements.
Sellers will now be required to provide purchasers with a disclosure statement and certain “prescribed certificates” (such as a title search, rates notice and registered survey plan) before a contract is signed.
Buyers will be entitled to terminate the contract any time before settlement if a seller fails to provide the requisite disclosure or if the disclosure contains inaccuracies.
Exceptions to the seller disclosure regime will include:
- where buyer and seller are related and the buyer waives compliance with the disclosure requirements;
- where contracts provide for a boundary adjustment; and
- where the sale price is more than $10 million and the buyer waives compliance with disclosure requirements.
The disclosure regime will also only apply to sellers of freehold land.
The changes are a significant shift from Queensland’s longstanding “buyer beware” approach to property transactions and instead mimic existing regimes in New South Wales and Victoria.
Thynne + Macartney’s agriculture lawyers are monitoring the changes and equipped to assist both buyers and sellers of rural properties navigate the new regime.