Queensland Government passes new building reforms

The reforms will affect the Land Sales Act 1984, the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997, and the Property Law Act 1974

New [[xef:http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2014/9/10/strong-off-the-plan-reforms-for-buyers-and-builders |off-the-plan reforms]] to various property laws that recently passed in Parliament are aimed at protecting families buying new homes as well as revitalising Queensland’s construction industry.

Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Jarrod Bleijie, said in a statement that the Land Sales and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 was built on the government’s commitment to grow Queensland’s four-pillar economy and revitalise frontline services by cutting waste and red tape.

In addition to amending the Land Sales Act 1984, the Bill also makes significant amendments to the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 (the BCCM) and the instalment contract provisions of the Property Law Act 1974, with the aim to significantly cut down red tape for the sale of off-the-plan lots. This will be of significant benefit to property developers.

Key reforms include:

  • Removing restrictions on selling unregistered, reconfigured land by allowing it to be sold prior to receiving the relevant development permits;
  • Increasing the maximum deposit limit from 10-20% of the purchase price to help finance major projects;
  • Removing offences relating to compliance with seller disclosure requirements where buyer termination rights apply;
  • More flexibility for buyers and sellers of proposed lots in community titles schemes to contractually agree on the time for the seller to provide a title transfer form, up to 5.5 years; and
  • Modernising legislative terminology and streamlining buyer termination rights for different types of developments.

The Act was first introduced in 1984 to protect buyers, though the Queensland Government has been reviewing it since 2010. In general terms, the Act regulates the sale and purchase of land that does not have its own title (both strata and non-strata).

The amendments are an attempt to continue the Queensland Government's program to streamline and improve the property sale process.

"These reforms will make Queensland an even more attractive place to live and work by promoting growth and investment, which in turn creates opportunities for Queenslanders," says Mr Bleijie.