Mandatory vendor disclosure requirements for property sales could be introduced in Queensland under a bill published by the Queensland Government.
The implementation of a statutory seller disclosure regime in Queensland is in line with regimes in place in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, which impose on sellers disclosure obligations to provide certificates before contracts are concluded.
If the bill is passed, it will create a significant change in the way real estate contracts are prepared and the way real estate transactions are conducted in Queensland. It will also provide Queensland buyers with the opportunity to review essential land information and make an informed decision before entering into a land purchase agreement.
Notably, the proposed disclosure obligations require sellers of land to provide a disclosure statement and additional legal entity certificates (if applicable) to a buyer before a contract is entered into by the seller and buyer. A draft information statement has been provided for comment which calls for the seller to provide copies of a current title search and registered survey plan for the land being sold, community management statement and bylaws ( if applicable), a certificate of compliance of the swimming pool (if applicable), as well as copies of unregistered easements and various notices.
The bill provides that if a seller fails to comply with the disclosure obligation or if the disclosure statement contains inaccuracies that adversely affect the buyer, the buyer may terminate the contract at at any time prior to settlement, in which case the seller must refund to the buyer any amount paid for the purchase of the lot under the contract.
The draft legislation provides that a purchaser may waive the disclosure requirement if the purchase price exceeds $5 million (excluding GST).
There are also a number of proposed exemptions to the disclosure requirement proposed in the draft law, including, among others, where the seller and buyer are related, the buyer is a listed company stock exchange, a subsidiary of a publicly traded company, a government entity or a statutory body entity.
The deadline for written submissions is August 31, 2022.
We will post further alerts to keep you informed of the progress of the bill.