New laws have been implemented in Queensland to quicken the length of time it takes to clear property transactions and streamline pre-development sales.
The changes to the existing Land Sales and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 sought to remove the level of ‘bureaucratic involvement’ in minor negotiations, allow buyers and sellers to design their own contracts on small title developments and cut as much red tape as possible.
Attorney-general and minister of justice Jarrod Bleijie said the changes mark a win for families and the housing industry by increasing buyer protection and reducing burdensome red tape for off-the-plan housing projects.
Mr Bleijie said the reforms would ultimately reduce costs and other burdens to Queenslanders buying and selling property.
“For community title developments, buyers will be informed about the size, location and floor level of the apartment as well as details of common property on the same floor,” Mr Bleijie said.
“After extensive consultation with the property industry, administrative processes would also be streamlined to avoid the need for complicated forms while duplicated disclosure obligations would be removed.
“By modernising the current system, families wanting to buy a home will have easier access to key information about a proposed off-the-plan property – such as proposed earth works, the construction of buildings and other structures like retaining walls – during the sales process.”
Other reforms include increasing the maximum deposit limit to aid finance for major projects, remove restrictions on selling unregistered, reconfigured land by allowing it to be sold prior to receiving appropriate development permits and remove offences relating to compliance with seller disclosure requirements where buyer termination rights apply.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) says the change in laws will help to boost the state’s economy.
REIQ acting CEO Antonia Mercorella said the reforms will give buyers access to critical information they need about off-the-plan sales, enabling them to make better informed buying decisions.
“The reforms are a win for all parties, who will enjoy greater contractual freedom and a reduction in red tape,” Ms Mercorella said.
“Agents now have greater flexibility in dealing with trust account monies where a dispute arises between parties. The changes also maintain appropriate safeguards, while removing the administrative burden associated with the retention of disputed trust account monies.”