The Property Law Bill 2023 will bring the most significant changes to property law in Queensland in 50 years.
Introduced to Queensland Parliament in February this year, it is anticipated the Bill will be passed in September or October, but commencement will be delayed by six to 12 months to allow for consultation and education.
How might investors benefit?
One player in the technology field, the online agent comparison platform, LocalAgentFinder, believes that the Bill will improve the buying and selling experience.
- Transparency: By providing detailed disclosure, buyers and sellers will be better placed to foster trust in transactions, leading to ‘a more equitable and reliable real estate market’.
- Reduced legal risk: Full disclosure of known issues will prevent potential legal actions for buyers where undisclosed defects are found later, which ‘not only protects the seller from costly litigation and reputational damage, but also reassures buyers for a smoother transaction’.
- Smoother transactions: Being fully informed as a buyer means there will be ‘fewer surprises and lower chances of deals falling through’, noting that ‘comprehensive knowledge of a property’s condition helps ensure efficient and fair negotiations, and saves time and reduces frustrations’.
- Price negotiation: Transparent sellers can better justify their asking price by disclosing property issues, which may then be fixed to increase value. LocalAgentFinder suggests this will better lead to open, informed price negotiations, resulting in ‘a fair and mutually agreed upon price’.
- Buyer satisfaction: Informed buyers are more aware of a property’s pros and cons and will adjust their expectations and offers, ultimately decreasing the likelihood they experience post-purchase regret, which means ‘buyer satisfaction, better reputation for the agent, and positive word-of-mouth for future transactions’.
The new legislation, which replaces the Property Law Act 1974, means sellers are required to disclose detailed particulars about their property, rather than the information be requested by potential buyers.
Key factors include property title, planning and zoning details, history of building work, any infrastructure proposals related to the property, outstanding rates and water accounts, body corporate information (if applicable), the property’s energy efficiency ratings, and any environmental issues or implications associated with the property.
Sellers are required to pull together all essential details into a single, comprehensive document for the prospective buyer.