The Queensland Government intends to introduce the statutory seller disclosure scheme to Parliament after accepting feedback from stakeholders throughout August, 2022. If it becomes law, developers, real estate agents, and property lawyers must be aware of and comply with the changes.
Consultation Draft Bill
The Queensland Government recently sought feedback on a proposal to implement a statutory seller disclosure scheme in the state.
A statutory seller disclosure scheme will help streamline the existing compliance requirements sellers must follow when selling freehold property in Queensland.
Currently, there is no formal disclosure regime in the state, and sellers must comply with a mix of common law, statutory and contractual obligations.
The Exposure Draft of the Bill was released by the state Government who sought feedback to ensure the scheme reflected the needs of industry stakeholders and consumers. In addition to the Exposure Draft, the state Government is also sought feedback on the proposed related documents, including:
- Draft Seller Disclosure statement;
- Draft Body corporate Certificate: Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997; and
- Draft Body Corporate Certificate: Building Units and Group Titles Act 1980.
The intent of the proposed scheme
If enacted, the proposed statutory seller disclosure scheme will make it mandatory for a seller to produce a disclosure statement with the required certificates to a potential purchaser before a contract is signed.
This Disclosure Scheme would be equivalent to similar schemes in other states, such as New South Wales, where a seller must provide basic searches and pertinent information relating to the property they are selling.
In New South Wales, information that must be included in the draft Contract and available to prospective purchasers includes a title search, drainage diagram, planning certificate issued by the local council, any dealings relevant to the lot (such as an easement), swimming pool compliance certificate (if applicable) and a notice with respect to smoke alarms and loose fill asbestos insulation.
The proposed disclosure document in Queensland will also require a seller to state that;
“To their knowledge, there are no current notices or transport infrastructure proposals or orders affecting the land issued by a government or other relevant authority that may impact the title to or use of the land after settlement”.
Such disclosure is designed to ensure that buyers make informed decisions about property transactions. The proposed disclosure scheme also intends to consolidate the seller’s disclosure obligations into a single form, making the process more straightforward.
What should the industry do?
We encourage you to familiarise yourself with the proposed Disclosure Scheme and Consultation Documents.
It is important to prepare for legislative change so that you can assist sellers with everything that they may need to facilitate a smooth property transaction.
Failure to disclose
If a seller fails to comply with the statutory disclosure scheme, it may result in a buyer being able to terminate the contract and/or claim damages from the seller. It will be crucial for sellers and selling agents to become familiar with these pre-contractual disclosure obligations and ensure they are strictly complied with.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers – supporting real estate agents and their clients to facilitate stress-free property transactions
Our Property Lawyers are ready to help agents, buyers, and sellers understand their rights and obligations when buying and selling real estate.
We have a thorough understanding of the state-specific legislation required to protect buyers and sellers and ensure property transactions can proceed without nasty surprises. Our lawyers can service Queensland and New South Wales transactions.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers is a PEXA-certified law firm, enabling our team to deliver fast, efficient, and secure digital property transactions. We endeavour to ensure that settlements proceed seamlessly and happen on time.
To avoid issues arising or unnecessary delays, get the right legal advice by contacting our Property and Commercial Department Manager, Jess Kimpton, on direct line 07 5506 8214, mobile 0432 857 300 or email email@example.com