Commercial Property Alert: Proposed removal of sustainability declarations to reduce real estate red tape - 25 May 2012

A new Bill introduced into Queensland Parliament last week is the first step in the move towards the use of one document for the sale of residential property - one of the pre-election commitments made by the LNP to 'reduce real estate red tape' in Queensland.

The Treasury (Cost of Living) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012 (Qld) proposes to amend the Building Act 1975 (Qld) and the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (Qld) to remove the requirements on sellers of residential property to prepare and provide a sustainability declaration before the sale of residential properties.

Here, partner Tracey Rundle and solicitor Lucy Elkins outline the changes proposed by the Bill.

Key changes proposed

The Bill proposes to:

  • remove the requirements on a seller to prepare and provide a sustainability declaration prior to the sale of residential dwellings; and
  • remove the existing requirements on selling agents in relation to sustainability declarations.

Sustainability declarations for residential sales

A sustainability declaration is a mandatory checklist which identifies the property's social sustainability and environmental features. The law as it currently stands requires:

  • the seller of a house, unit or townhouse to give to a proposed buyer a signed sustainability declaration before the buyer enters into a contract of sale; and
  • the seller's agent to ensure a sustainability declaration is available as part of the advertising process, and to have a copy of the sustainability declaration displayed at open house inspections.

If implemented, the changes in the law will apply to all properties that are advertised for sale at the time the amendments commence. If a sustainability declaration has been prepared for the sale of a property, it will not be necessary to continue to make the sustainability declaration available once the amendments commence.

We will monitor the progress of the Bill through Parliament and keep you updated.

For more information on the proposed removal of sustainability declarations, please contact HopgoodGanim's Commercial Property team.