The Property Law Bill, which heralds the biggest shake up in property law in Queensland for 50 years, passed through Queensland Parliament on 25 October 2023. While the bill has passed and is now the Property Law Act 2023, the changes introduced by the Act will not come into effect for around 6 to 12 months. During this period, consultations with relevant stakeholders will take place to ensure sufficient time for all affected parties to be ready for the significant changes introduced by the new laws.

Some of the significant changes being introduced include:

  • introduction of a mandatory seller disclosure regime that will apply to commercial and residential sales of land, including sales by auctions. The required disclosure will include a title search, registered plan, tree orders, contaminated land notice, heritage listings, transport proposals, body corporate information certificate (for body corporates only) and a Community Management Statement (for body corporates only);
  • additional protections for current and former tenants, including:
    • removing the liability of assignors and their guarantors for breaches committed by subsequent assignees;
    • imposing a one-month deadline for landlords to confirm their decision on assignments or other dealings that require landlord consent;
    • ensuring that all lease covenants are transferred to subsequent owners. Currently, new owners are only bound by those covenants that 'touch and concern the land' and personal rights such as rights of first refusal and options to purchase may not bind subsequent owners. From the commencement of the legislation, subsequent owners will be bound by all covenants contained in leases of the property;
  • reducing the limitation period for actions based upon a deed to six years (currently 12 years), reducing the time period for commencing proceedings for breaches of deeds; and
  • ensuring that all covenants in easements are binding on subsequent owners (including positive obligations) if the covenant is related to 'use, ownership or maintenance'.

Stay tuned for more in-depth information and education from CG Law in the coming months in relation to the changes and how they will be implemented in practice.

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