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Qld passes biggest property law overhaul in 50 years

By Juliet Helmke
27 October 2023 | 11 minute read
yvette dath QLD REB sl6c3e

Queensland’s new property law has passed its last hurdle, being voted through the state’s Parliament to officially replace the state’s legislation dating to 1974.

The Property Law Bill 2023 makes some substantial changes to Queensland’s handling of real estate transactions. Most notably, it introduces a mandatory seller’s disclosure regime, which shifts from a “buyer beware” attitude to property sales to a proactive seller disclosure arrangement.

It also introduces changes to commercial leases by enacting new standard lease terms, and introduces an assignment process, requiring landlords to deal with requests from lessees expeditiously.

Per the state, the bill also addresses what it found to be “areas of uncertainty” in the old property law, and makes improvements to existing laws. It includes:

  • An updated legal framework that reflects current practices around electronic property transactions and the electronic creation and signing of deeds.
  • Modernisation and updates to provisions relating to leases.
  • Clarification of the powers of mortgagees and the protections for mortgagors.
  • Improved provisions that deal with issues and rights between neighbouring land.
  • An updated common law rule against perpetuities.

The new disclosure regime will come into effect upon proclamation, which is a date yet to be set by the Parliament.

In introducing the new law, Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath commented that the change is well overdue.

“Our previous property laws hadn’t been subject to a comprehensive review and update in almost half a century and a lot has changed during that time,” she said.

While the changes have been largely welcomed by different corners of the industry, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has voiced its opinion that some “concerning impractical and ambiguous provisions remain”.


The state institute is largely in favour of the modernisations, working with the government to nail down the particulars of the disclosure regime.

“We have long advocated for the introduction of a seller’s disclosure regime, on the basis that such a regime enhances, without inhibiting, the unique property landscape we have in Queensland,” said REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella.

“From a consistency and consumer protection standpoint, we recognise the benefits of a single statutory disclosure regime, ensuring it’s easier for home buyers to make informed property buying decisions in Queensland,” she added.

But Ms Mercorella said that while the body believes there are numerous successes contained in the bill, there are some matters they feel have been “dangerously overlooked”.

The state body holds the view that the new law introduces impractical and unnecessarily complex requirements associated with the provision of a disclosure statement at auctions. It also claimed that there is continuing ambiguity around buyer termination rights, and it disagrees with the reintroduction of the Community Management Statement (CMS) disclosure when selling lots in a Community Titles Scheme.

“It is disappointing that despite our repeated advice and unparalleled understanding of the way real estate transactions are facilitated in this state, that some material issues have not been duly addressed,” Ms Mercorella said.

“In order to keep real estate great in our state, we need the selling and buying process in Queensland to be as smooth and efficient as possible while including appropriate protection measures for consumers and real estate agents,” she added.


Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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