Queensland splits Property Agents and Motor Dealers Acts

The Property Agents and Motor Dealers Acts (2000) was amended to create industry-specific legislation

Buying a property or vehicle in Queensland has been simplified as a result of new laws passed by the State Government earlier this month.

The Property Agents and Motor Dealers Acts 2000 was split into separate industry-specific bills to allow for a more streamlined process when purchasing property in Queensland, officially creating The Property Occupations Act 2013.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Jarrod Bleijie, said the splitting of the bills meant an end to the "one size fits all" approach that had burdened Queenslanders with unnecessary red tape when making big purchases.

“This is a win-win for everyone and finally simplifies the stifling regulations that existed under Labor,” Bleijie said. “Buying a house or car is one of the biggest decisions we can make in our lifetime and the simpler we make the process, the greater Queenslanders are protected."

The industry was divided over the changes due to a controversial proposal to ban price guides for auction properties, with some believing the law would benefit sellers, while others thought it would scare buyers away.

Changes made to the original legislation included allowing online listing sites to filter auction properties by price bracket and allowing an auctioneer to announce when a home was “on the market” at auction, but Bleijie refused to lift the ban on price guides, despite opposition.

Bleijie said consumers were often overwhelmed with paperwork, costing themselves and the seller precious dollars while they deciphered the fine print.

“By streamlining the process, we’re reducing costs and other burdens for people buying and selling real estate, property professionals and the broader community,” added Bleijie.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) has welcomed the reforms, following the government consulting with the state’s peak industry body to draft the laws that simplify buying and selling property.

REIQ CEO Anton Kardash claimed reforms would deliver a number of positive changes for the real estate sector, as well as representing a win for consumers who could enjoy greater transparency.

Futher key changes adopted under the new legislation include removing the requirement for agents to disclose to a buyer the commission the agent is receiving from the seller, deregulating agents' commissions, aligning Queensland with other states and maintaining the existing cooling off period of five days.

REIQ chairman Rob Honeycombe said the simplified laws would deliver important benefits for both real estate professionals and consumers.

"The REIQ has been fighting for industry-specific legislation for many years on behalf of our members and for the betterment of the entire profession in Queensland," he said.