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  • Writer's pictureEvan Sarinas

Overhaul of Queensland's Property Laws: Key Changes Unveiled

The Property Law Act 2023 passed on 25 October 2023 and will soon repeal the current Property Law Act 1974 (Qld).


The Act’s commencement date will be fixed by proclamation by the Queensland Parliament, and once in force, the regime will signify a new era for property transactions in Queensland.


In this article, we will briefly explore some of the key changes on the horizon for the Queensland conveyancing process.


Table of Contents



 

What Are Some of the Key Changes with the New Act?


The Act will modernize property law in Queensland, with the most significant changes seen to this area of law in 50 years.


Whilst the raft of changes in the new Act are multifaceted and wide-ranging, the creation of a new mandatory seller disclosure regime is perhaps the most significant for Queenslanders looking to sell or buy property.


Under the new Act, sellers (apart from those covered by a few specific exceptions) will be obliged to disclose particular information about the property prior to the contract being signed.


Approved forms and certificates will need to be attached to the contract, and the disclosures must be accurate. Many of these disclosures are already being obtained by prudent buyers, but under this regime, the onus will fall on the seller to provide the information at their own cost. Failing to provide accurate disclosures so can result in buyers choosing to terminating the contract.


Evan Sarinas, of Sarinas Legal, welcomes the changes as a positive step forward for buyers, who will be better-informed as to the characteristics of the property they are buying, making the conveyancing process more clear, fair and practical for buyers.


Evan Sarinas believes the changes in the mandatory seller disclosure regime will be instrumental in minimising unexpected surprises that might be subsequently revealed and will provide both parties with more certainty and transparency during the property transaction process.


What Isn't Going to Change?


However, what these changes won’t do is eliminate the need for independent searches and appropriate due diligence enquiries over a property.


Under the current system, these searches and enquiries often reveal issues during the conveyancing process, which can then lead to stress and pressure for the buyer in deciding how to proceed, even though the contract has been signed.


Under the new seller disclosure regime, buyers will now have the benefit of receiving and considering basic necessary information about the property, before deciding to commit by bidding at auction or signing a contract, providing increased consumer protection for buyers.


Whilst these changes are welcomed by those involved in the conveyancing industry, it would be imprudent, in our opinion, to rely purely on the disclosures made by the seller.


The level of enquiry into a property is ultimately a matter for the buyer, but we consider searches and enquiries to be an important investment into the proper due diligence of a purchase. It’s a relatively small price to pay for peace of mind, negotiation power, and being in a position to make fully-informed decisions about all relevant aspects of the property you are buying.


These disclosure changes will soon see the traditional sale and conveyancing process in Queensland looking and feeling quite different, at all stages of the transaction.


Real Estate Agents will really need to work to be across the reforms to ensure compliance and will need to work in close partnership with sellers to ensure the necessary disclosures are accurately made.


Conclusion


The new era of Property Law and Conveyancing in Queensland is just around the corner.


Sarinas Legal are working in close partnership with Townsville Real Estate Agents to provide education and information about this unparallelled, once-in-a-generation overhaul of Queensland’s Property Law system, so all relevant stakeholders feel prepared and empowered once the new laws take effect.


Reach out to the experienced team of Property Lawyers at Sarinas Legal today for expert advice on navigating Queensland’s new Property Law Act and ensuring your transactions are seamless and stress-free.



Evan Sarinas - Principal of Sarinas Legal


Evan Sarinas is the founder and Principal of Sarinas Legal, with over 30 years of expertise in property law as a distinguished litigator and strategic negotiator. Evan is known for his adept handling of complex property transactions and dispute resolution, encompassing commercial, residential, and development-related legal matters. He provides clear, strategic advice tailored to achieving favourable outcomes for his clients, emphasising integrity and meticulous case preparation.


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