Queensland’s property laws will be replaced with modernised legislation, which will include establishing mandatory disclosure rules to make it easier for home buyers.
The Property Law Bill, which passed Parliament today, repeals the Property Law Act 1974 in full, and effects the most significant changes to property law in 50 years.
The Bill was introduced to Queensland Parliament on 23 February, after detailed consideration and consultation with stakeholders, including the Queensland Law Society, Real Estate Institute of Queensland, Property Council, Urban Development Institute of Australia and community title stakeholder groups.
It was informed by the 232 recommendations made by the Queensland University of Technology’s Commercial and Property Law Research Centre following its in-depth review of the state’s property laws from 2013-18.
Many provisions of the 1974 Act were maintained, but the statute has been modernised and amended with contemporary language that reflects current commercial practice.
A new seller disclosure scheme will be enacted to ensure potential buyers of freehold land are given relevant information. This will consolidate requirements already used in most sales in Queensland.
It will be mandatory for a seller to give the buyer a disclosure statement and any applicable prescribed certificates, including a body corporate certificate.
Outdated and unnecessary provisions have also been removed, such as those relating to unregistered or “old system” land, and the provisions dealing with property settlement in de facto relationships.
The Bill also addresses areas of uncertainty that have developed over time, and improves existing property laws. This includes:
- an updated legal framework that reflects modern practice around electronic property transactions and the electronic creation and signing of deeds;
- substantial clarification, modernisation and updates to provisions relating to leases;
- clarifying the powers of mortgagees and the protections for mortgagors;
- improved provisions that deal with issues and rights between neighbouring land; and
- simplifying and updating the common law rule against perpetuities.
Commencement will be delayed by six to 12 months to allow for stakeholder consultation and education.