Saturday, 27 October 2012

QLD Repeal of sustainability declarations reduces red tape for property sales

QLD Repeal of sustainability declarations reduces red tape for property sales

04 July 2012
Article by Kim Teague

The recent passing of the Treasury (Cost of Living) and other Legislation Amendment Act 2012 (Qld) spells the end of mandatory sustainability declarations for sellers of residential property.
While the Bill was introduced to Parliament in May 2012, the provisions came into effect on Wednesday 27 June 2012.
The Act amends the Building Act 1975 (Qld) and the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (Qld) by removing most provisions relating to sustainability declarations.
The Act removes all requirements for both sellers and real estate agents to provide sustainability declarations to potential buyers of residential property.

A ‘sustainability declaration’ is a compulsory checklist that the seller must currently complete identifying to potential buyers the property’s environmental and social sustainability features in key areas – energy, water, and access/safety. For example, the sustainability declaration form asks the seller to provide information, to the best of his or her knowledge and ability, about the presence of solar hot water, photovoltaic solar panels and ceiling insulation. Failing to provide a sustainability declaration attracts a fine. 

It is important to note that there are transitional provisions that ensure that buyers who incur loss through a false or misleading sustainability declaration prepared prior to the amendments coming into force will still be able to seek compensation from a seller.

The amendments make it clear that the buyer still has no right to terminate a contract for the publishing or giving of sustainability declarations by a seller that are false or misleading or incomplete.

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