ARTICLES

Property Occupations Act 2014, Qld

1 December, 2015

To the relief of many, the new Property Occupations Act 2014, Queensland (POA) finally commenced on 1 December 2014 replacing part of the previous current Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000, Queensland (PAMDA).

What‘s different from 1 December 2014 that affects you?

For contracts entered into on or after 1 December 2014, you won’t need to attach the PAMDA Form 30c, Form 32a, or the BCCMA Form 14 to relevant contracts.  In first letters, for contracts entered into on or after 1 December 2014, the PAMDA Form 32a will no longer be required. 

The process to shorten/waive the cooling off period has also become easier.

Cooling off

For contracts entered into on or after 1 December 2014, the 5 day cooling off period still applies (unless an exemption applies such as at auction), but there is no requirement to attach a PAMDA Form 30c or a BCCMA Form 14.  Instead, the POA replaces the PAMDA Form 30c with a requirement that the following paragraph be included in all relevant contracts –

“The contract may be subject to a five business day statutory cooling off period. A termination penalty of 0.25% of the purchase price applies if the buyer terminates the contract during the statutory cooling off period. It is recommended the buyer obtain an independent property valuation and independent legal advice about the contract and his or her cooling off rights, before signing.”

The POA requires the seller to ensure that this warning paragraph is written in the contract once, immediately above and on the same page as the place in the contract where the buyer signs it. Unlike the situation with the PAMDA warning statement, there is no need for the seller or agent to direct the buyer’s attention to this warning paragraph. The new paragraph should now be included in the Standard REIQ Contracts, where not all contracts comply with the current requirements.  If you are in any doubt, about the inclusion of the warning paragraph, please immediately contact MKN Legal.

Failure to include the warning paragraph does not give the Purchaser a right to terminate the contract, the Cooling Off Period will still apply as normal, instead, whoever prepared the contract will be liable to a 200 penalty unit fine – currently equivalent to $22,770

Shortening/waiving the cooling off period

For contracts entered into on or after 1 December, the PAMDA Form 32a Lawyers Certificate for waiving or shortening the cooling off period will no longer apply, instead the purchaser can do this by providing the seller with a short notice. 

Please contact MKN Legal if you require a waiver or shortening of the cooling off period and we can assist you.

Transitional provisions

The provisions of PAMDA will continue to apply to relevant contracts entered into prior to 1 December 2014.

This means that if a relevant contract and disclosure statement was issued prior to 1 December 2014, then unless the contract has been signed by both parties and the buyer notified by 30 November, 2014 the seller will need to re-issue the documents in the new form.

Please call MKN Legal if you have any questions.