Legal Update – New Laws for Residential Property Developers

21 MAY 2014

This month new legislation was passed by Queensland parliament which will have a significant impact on transactions for property developers and the procedure for the sale of residential properties.

The Property Occupations Act 2013 in effect replaces the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (“PAMDA”) and will commence once it receives final approval from the Governor-General in the coming months. One of the goals of the new legislation is to remove some of the more restrictive requirements contained in the PAMDA legislation and help to streamline conveyancing transactions.

Key changes introduced by the new legislation include:

1.  More limited warning statement requirements for contracts. The current warning statement (Form 30C) and the BCCM Information Sheet (Form 14) will be replaced by a short warning statement next to where the buyer signs the contract. Failure to use the new warning statement does not create a right for the buyer to terminate the contract, however the seller or seller’s agent commits an offence by such non-compliance which carries fines of up to $22,000.

2.  Abolition of property developer licences. These licences were previously required where a person/company sold more than 6 properties in a 12 month period. However, certain disclosure from property developers will still need to be given.

3.  Removal of maximum commission on residential property sales. Commission can now be freely negotiated between sellers and agents.

4.  Certain residential property transaction requirements (for example, the cooling-off period) will not apply where the buyer is:

(a)  a publicly listed corporation or its subsidiary;

(b)  the State or a statutory body;

(c)  purchasing 3 or more lots at the same time, even if there are separate contracts.

5.  Extension of cooling-off period exemption for residential properties purchased at auction. Under PAMDA, buyers do not have the benefit of a cooling-off period to get out of the contract for residential properties purchased at auction. Under the new laws, this cooling-off period exemption will now also apply where a registered bidder enters into a contract to buy the same property within 2 business days of the auction.

We would be pleased to provide you with further explanation of these and other relevant changes introduced by the new laws.

Contact Partner: Francesca Petroccitto
Direct Telephone : 07 3210 5771
Mobile Telephone : 0402 293 644

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