The Queensland Government has introduced further amendments to
property legislation, specifically for the sale of off-the-plan
lots, which will be of significant benefit to property
The Land Sales and Other Legislation Amendment Bill
2014 (the Bill) introduced to Parliament on 3
June 2014, amends the Land Sales Act 1984 (Qld)
(LSA), the Body Corporate and Community
Management Act 1997 (Qld) (BCCMA) and
instalment contract provisions in the Property Law Act
1974 (Qld) (PLA).
AMENDMENTS TO THE LSA
The Bill transfers the disclosure requirements for proposed
community title scheme lots to the BCCMA. The definitions
throughout the LSA will be updated to provide greater clarity - the
term "allotment" will be replaced with the term
"lot", and "buyer" and "seller" will
be used consistently.
Soon sellers will need to provide further statements to buyers
at least 21 days before settlement of the contract if the
disclosure plan is inaccurate. Currently, a significant variation
notice must be provided 14 days after the seller is given the
survey plan. The Bill also adopts the "material
prejudice" approach used in the BCCMA regarding the
seller's obligation to notify the buyer of any variation
between the disclosure plan and the final survey plan. Sellers will
need to provide a plain English explanation of the general effect
of the differences. An example of this is a change to the depth of
fill from the disclosure plan. The onus will be on the buyer to
show the variation materially prejudices them in order to terminate
the contract within 21 days after receiving the further
The Bill has removed the maximum deposit restriction in the PLA
for the sale of proposed lots, allowing a deposit to be 20% of the
purchase price before the instalment contract provisions are
triggered. For post registration sales, the deposit limit will
remain at 10%. This change will assist developers to obtain
pre-sales to secure finance and will improve financial viability
for large off-the-plan developments.
AMENDMENTS TO THE BCCMA
Buyers will have 21 days after receiving a further statement to
terminate the contract if they are materially prejudiced as a
result of a change (currently 14 days). The Bill will also remove
the offences relating to disclosure statements but will retain a
buyer's termination rights.
Provided a buyer under an option contract is the same buyer,
only one disclosure statement will need to be provided. Once the
Bill is passed, sellers can nominate a 5˝ year sunset date
for settlement, removing the statutory regulation requirement to
extend the 3˝ year sunset date. If a sunset date is not
specified in the contract, a default period of 3˝ years will
apply. A buyer will still have a termination right if the transfer
is not supplied to them within the required time.
WHAT IS NEXT?
Currently, the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee is
reviewing the Bill and it is estimated that it will be some months
before the Bill is passed.
There are no transitional provisions in the Bill and contracts
entered into after the commencement of the Bill will need to comply
with the amended legislation. ClarkeKann will continue to monitor
the progress of the Bill and will notify you of any key
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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