Property Law Bill
Over the course of 2022, the Queensland Government has undertaken several rounds of consultation on the Property Law Bill 2022 (the Bill). The REIQ commends the State Government in progressing the re-write of the PLA and its commitment to enact the Bill within the current term of the Government.
The REIQ is supportive of the modernisation and clarification of language, and use of an updated legislative style in the Bill as a comprehensive re-write of the existing Property Law Act 1974 (PLA).
On 29 July 2022, the REIQ provided its first Submission in response to a private exposure draft of the full Bill (which omitted the Seller’s Disclosure Regime provisions to be later incorporated).
The REIQ noted the challenge and scale of that task demonstrated by the level of detail in the review papers prepared by the QUT Commercial and Property Law Research Centre Property Law Act Review – both the 6 Issues Papers, and the 1,000+ page Final Report, issued between 2014 – 2018. The importance and complexity of the task arises from the foundational significance to our society and the broader economy of the Property Law Act in establishing property rights and the ‘rule of law’ relating to property and other legal and contractual rights more broadly (such as the provisions relating to Deeds and Covenants).
The REIQ urged that all due time and resources are dedicated by the Department and the Government to ensuring that thorough consultation is completed, all feedback and suggestions or concerns received are thoroughly reviewed, and all potential legislative impacts of any changes from the existing PLA are fully considered and understood prior to enactment of the Bill.
The REIQ recommended that when the time comes for enactment of the Bill after completion of a thorough consultation process, there should be a significant period of not less than 12 months, after enactment and prior to commencement (as least of selected Parts of the Bill) so as to enable sufficient time for public and professional education of the changes. There also needs to be sufficient time for revision or preparation of many standard forms and precedents that are presently geared for the existing PLA. The delayed timeframe will also enable REIQ to inform and educate our membership as to upcoming changes at the appropriate time, and to enable members to be well-equipped to implement changes in their operations, firms and practices, and provide effective and efficient services to their clients, being the buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.
Given the role of the REIQ and the area of interest to our membership, we focused our comments on the following parts of the Bill:
- Part 6 – Deeds and covenants
- Part 7 – Contracts, sales of land and instalment contracts for sale of land
- Part 9 – Leases; and
- Part 18 – Amendment of Acts – focusing on amendments to the Limitation of Actions Act 1974 and the Property Occupations Act 2014.
The REIQ provided over 40 recommendations for amendments and feedback on specific sections. Of particular concern were the provisions relating to electronic settlements and delay events, and provisions regulating commercial lease renewals and forfeiture. The REIQ provided feedback about the practical implications of the proposed drafting.
On 20 October 2022, the REIQ provided further consultation by way of a second Submission in response to a public exposure draft of the Bill. The Bill adopted some of the changes that the REIQ had proposed. We re-iterated our position on the sections which were not amended and provided comment on new sections and substantially re-drafted sections.
In order to make any further consultation as useful as possible to refining and improving the Bill, the REIQ requested a detailed Consultation Explanatory Memorandum to be prepared to accompany any further consultation draft of the Bill, which provides background and guidance, section by section, as to the intent to be reflected, and the position taken regarding the recommendation in the QUT Review, or any decision to depart from that with associated reasoning.
If you wish to obtain a copy of the complete submission, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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