A move welcomed by those within the industry, the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) is set to be repealed and replaced later in 2014.  Passed on 7 May 2014, the Property Occupations Bill 2013 (the Bill) will allow for the removal of complexities and unnecessary red tape associated with the PAMDA, and implements a more modern and streamlined process within the property industry.

A number of key changes are highlighted below:

The Residential Property Sale Process

  1. The buyer no longer needs to be directed to the PAMDA warning statement and the Body Corporate and Community Management Act (BCCM) information sheet prior to signing the contract.
  2. The PAMDA warning statement will be replaced with a short warning added to the contract signing page.
  3. The warning will not be required for counter offers by a seller so long as the particular property and buyer do not change.
  4. A BCCM information sheet will no longer need to be provided to buyers purchasing a property in a community title scheme.
  5. Buyers will no longer have termination rights if the warning is not included, rather the seller will risk a fine of up to $22,000 for individuals or $110,000 for corporations.
  6. A lawyer’s certificate will not be required to waive or reduce the cooling-off period.
  7. The cooling off period will not apply to ‘sophisticated party transactions’ where the buyer is:
    1. The government or a statutory authority;
    2. A listed public company or its subsidiary; or
    3. Buying more than three lots at a time.
  8. Real Estate Agents will no longer be required to give prospective buyers a notice if the vacant land being sold is not zoned for residential purposes.
  9. The definition of ‘residential property’ contained in PAMDA will be replaced with a simpler definition.

Real Estate Agents

  1. Commissions received by Real Estate Agents will no longer be required to be disclosed to the buyer;
  2. There will be no limit imposed on the amount of sale commission;
  3. The period in which a seller can appoint a real estate agent for a sole or exclusive agency will increase from 60 days to 90 days; and
  4. Property agents dealing with sophisticated owners will have further red tape removed, for example, the agent will not need to be appointed using the approved form

Property Developers

Property developers will no longer be required to be licensed in order to sell their own lots.

The implementation of the abovementioned changes will affect all residential real property transactions in Queensland.  Despite the removal of some measures aimed at protecting the purchaser, the result of the simplified process from these amendments will significantly outweigh any perceived negatives.

If you would like to discuss how these changes may affect you, please call Rouse Lawyers on 07 3648 9900.