Seller disclosure ‘big-ticket item’

The old adage of ‘buyer beware’ may become ‘the buyer is aware’ in Queensland with the Property Law Bill 2023 now under consideration.

More than 60 lawyers were given an insight into the Property Law Bill 2023 at a QLS seminar with Professor Sharon Christensen and Emeritus Professor Bill Duncan today.

The Bill, which is currently being considered by Parliament, will impact Queensland property lawyers along with their clients if passed next year. It would replace the 50-year-old Property Law Act 1974.

Sellers would be required to provide extensive, up-to-date information about properties.

The Bill modernises the current Act, addresses mandatory seller disclosure, and considers electronic communications, inoperative computers and adverse events.

Professor Christensen told seminar attendees there was “10 years of work” behind the new Bill.


“During the 10 years, we have conducted about four years of research and consulted policy, legislation, government and stakeholders,” Professor Christensen said.

“This has not emerged out of thin air.

“The big-ticket item is seller disclosure. We have set the framework. Our main objective was a staged process and a unified framework to tell a buyer about the property.

“Disclosure is consistent. There has been a consistent approach and rules applied to this Bill.”

Auctions are also covered by the disclosure statement. Bidders would need to be supplied with copies of the disclosure statement. Termination rights are clear with a material reason needed to terminate a contract.

Professor Duncan said a lot of the general principles inherited from England had remained the same in the Bill and “work well”.


He said the Bill reflected a broader government move towards “consumer protection” and was a bi-partisan effort.

QLS Proctor will be publishing an in-depth look at the Property Law Bill 2023.

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