The Property Law Act 2023 (“the Act”) passed the Queensland Parliament on 25 October 2023. The Act will replace the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) and aims to simplify, streamline and modernise Queensland’s property laws, better facilitate e-conveyancing and electronic transactions, and remove outdated provisions.
The Act has not yet commenced but will take effect on a date to be fixed by proclamation, which may be several months into the future.
The Act will have implications for a range of property matters, including conveyancing and commercial leasing. It is expected that contracts used for the sale and purchase of land will also be updated as a result. The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has indicated it will be updating its contract pro formas before the Act commences and it will be important for all users of these contracts to ensure they are using the correct version once the Act commences.
Some key features of the Act include:
- A new seller disclosure regime;
- Updates to reflect the use of electronic conveyancing;
- New delay events provisions;
- Changes to the way easements bind successors in title; and
- New rights for buyers where there is destruction of or damage to a dwelling house.
We consider each of these aspects in more detail below.
Seller disclosure regime
A seller disclosure regime has been introduced for the sale of both residential and commercial property in Queensland. Before a buyer signs a contract of sale, the seller will be required to provide a disclosure statement, together with certain other documents (“prescribed certificates”) in relation to the property they are selling. There are certain exceptions, such as where the seller and buyer are related and the buyer gives a waiver notice. The buyer may be entitled to terminate at any time before settlement if the disclosure documents are not provided (or not provided correctly), or there is a mistake or omission that relates to a material matter, which the buyer was not aware of and had they been aware, they would not have entered into the contract.
Modern conveyancing processes
Provisions relating to the settlement of contracts have been updated to reflect modern conveyancing processes, including electronic conveyancing.
Provisions dealing with a delay of settlement due to an adverse event (such as weather, public health emergency, act of terrorism, war or similar event) now apply. These provisions largely reflect the current ‘delay event’ provisions in the REIQ contracts. New provisions also relate to inoperative computer systems for electronic conveyances on the date of settlement.
A covenant in a registered easement will bind both the grantor and grantee of the easement, and each of their successors in title, unless the covenant is expressed to be personal to the grantor or grantee.
Destruction of or damage to dwelling house
Buyers will now have a right to rescind a contract by notice if, after entering that contract, the residential dwelling is damaged or destroyed and is unfit for occupation. This right can be exercised until the earlier of settlement, the buyer taking possession, or the seller restoring the dwelling.
OMB Solicitors has a team of experienced property lawyers Gold Coast that can assist you to navigate these legislative changes. If we can be of assistance, please give us a call on (07) 5555 0000 or email us at [email protected].