The Property Law Bill 2023 was introduced to Queensland Parliament on 23 February 2023 – if passed, its contents will effect some of the biggest changes in the Queensland property industry in almost 50 years.

What does it cover?

There are extensive changes – the Bill is some 226 pages long – but some of the most significant include:

  • The Bill introduces a new seller disclosure regime – it will require sellers to disclose information to buyers regarding property before the buyer signs the contract, including providing copies of certain searches. A buyer will hold new rights to terminate if a seller does not comply with these requirements. Currently, buyers undertake most of these searches and usually after a contract has been signed; and
  • Leases are also affected, with statutory requirements being introduced setting out how requests to assign (transfer) leases must be managed by landlords and the releasing tenants/guarantors from future liability after such assignments.

Who will it affect?

  • Sellers – anyone who is selling property will have a new process to go through before they can sell. The current preparation of a contract can, in many instances, be completed with reference just to a title search. Additional searches will be required to satisfy the requirements of the disclosure regime.
  • Real estate agents – it will require significant changes from how contracts are currently prepared.
  • Landlords – landlords will need to familiarise themselves with the new requirements when dealing with lease assignments and new requirements when issuing notices to remedy breach.

When will it become law?

It depends on when it is passed by Parliament – some industry bodies (like the Real Estate Institution of Queensland – REIQ) are advocating for significant change to the Bill – if successful, that may delay (and change) the Bill.

The team at Clifford Gouldson will monitor the passage of the Bill and advise clients when it becomes law.

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.