Thinking | 1 August 2022

Mandatory seller disclosure obligations for real property sales proposed in Queensland

By Brad Marland and Peta Bunce

Mandatory seller disclosure obligations for real property sales could be introduced into Queensland under a draft Bill published by the Queensland Government.

The implementation of a statutory seller disclosure scheme in Queensland is in line with schemes in place in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, which impose disclosure obligations on sellers to provide certificates prior to contracts being entered into.

If the Bill is passed, it will create a significant change to the manner in which property contracts are prepared and how property transactions are conducted in Queensland.  It will also provide purchasers in Queensland, with the opportunity to review critical information about land, and make an informed decision before they enter into a contract to purchase land.

Notably, the proposed disclosure obligations require sellers of land to provide a Disclosure Statement and additional body corporate certificates (if relevant) to a purchaser before a contract is entered into by the seller and the purchaser. A draft Disclosure Statement has been provided for comment which contemplates the seller providing copies of a current title search and registered survey plan for the land being sold, the community management statement and by-laws (if relevant), a pool compliance certificate (if relevant), along with copies of unregistered easements and various notices.

The draft Bill provides that if a seller fails to comply with the disclosure requirement or the Disclosure Statement contains inaccuracies that adversely affect the purchaser, the purchaser may terminate the contract at any time prior to settlement, in which case the seller must repay to the purchaser any amount paid towards the purchase of the lot under the contract.

The draft Bill contemplates that a purchaser can waive the requirement for a Disclosure Statement if the purchase price exceeds $5 million (excluding GST).

There are also a number of proposed exemptions from the disclosure obligation proposed in the draft Bill, including, among other things, where the seller and purchaser are related, the purchaser is a listed corporation, a subsidiary of a listed corporation, government entity or statutory body.

The closing date for written submissions is 31 August 2022.

We will issue further alerts to keep you updated about the progress of the draft Bill.

If you have any concerns in relation to the draft Bill or require assistance with commercial or retail property sales in Queensland, please contact Brad Marland or Peta Bunce.

Contact

Brad Marland

Brad is an experienced real estate partner specialising in commercial, industrial, retail, and residential property.

Peta Bunce

Peta is a specialist commercial property lawyer with 20 years’ experience in both national and international firms.

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