On Monday 1 December 2014, the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) was repealed and the following four new pieces of Queensland legislation came into force:
- Property Occupations Act 2014
- Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act 2014
- Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collection Agents) Act 2014
- Agents Financial Administration Act 2014
PAMDA continues to apply to relevant contracts entered into prior to 1 December.
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland released new contracts to comply with the new laws, and the new form of contract must be used for any new contract entered into.
Aside from some practical tidying up of the contract and giving it a cleaner look, there are some changes that are relevant to agents and parties buying or selling property as follows:
- Changes to relevant forms:
- Form 30C Warning Statement no longer exists for residential property contracts. The contract itself now contains the warning about obtaining legal advice and an independent valuation. It also advises that a statutory cooling off period applies.
- Form 14 Information Sheet for the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 is no longer required to be attached.
- Form 32a lawyer’s certificate has been abolished. A buyer can now waive or shorten the statutory cooling off period with written notice to the seller.
- Failure to comply with technical requirements are no longer an avenue for a buyer to terminate a contract or seek compensation. Instead, a breach of the new legislation may result in a fine from the government for $22,000 for an individual and $110,000 for a corporation.
- The requirement of giving notice to a buyer for vacant land that cannot be lawfully used for residential purposes has been removed (where previously a buyer could terminate a contract for failure to disclose this).
- Finally, a practical change allowing notices under the contract to be sent by email is a welcome change.
The new contracts have also tightened up the requirements for them to be completed more fully and accurately. An example is that it will no longer be acceptable to insert words such as ‘refer to title’ or similar in the encumbrances section. All title encumbrances must be accurately stated in the contract.