Contract and Forms provider ADL Software – who closely monitored the implementation of the new Queensland PAMDA processes during the first month of its operation – reported a high level of initial confusion among its agency clients, concerning the implementation of the new processes.
The confusion arose because the cooling-off and the 90 day termination periods, in most cases, now run from the date of the buyer’s (or their solicitor’s) actual receipt of the signed contract. Thus agents need to adopt a new process – getting a signed “Buyer’s acknowledgement: receipt of contract” when the signed completed contract is handed over.
As a result it is now essential for agents to add this as another item in the paperwork bundle. ADL have created a new form to accommodate the issue.
So the paperwork bundle has actually been added to – not reduced, as expected. Although it was also intended that the other paraphernalia devised as a safety net for agents – the instructions sheet (or ‘drawing attention’ letter) and the ‘buyer’s acknowledgement’ – could have been done away with under the new system, this has not occurred.
These items are just as important under new PAMDA as they were under the old although REIQ Realworks withdrew its “Buyer’s acknowledgement” and has not issued any “Receipt of contract” form.
So one month after inception – the overall position is that the new PAMDA process is much the same as that which it replaced – although the consequences of a minor mistake are no longer always as devastating as they were previously.
As for the cutover itself – the most hazardous feature: “proposed contracts” signed by a buyer but not yet signed by the seller – did materialize as forecast. Hopefully agents decided to ditch the partly signed paperwork and as recommended, start the presentation process again from scratch.
It may take a further 10 years before litigation of current contracts under old PAMDA winds its way through the court system. To illustrate, this week saw an interim judgment on a 2001 contract and the final hearing for that dispute will probably not occur until 2012.
We should start seeing disputes under new PAMDA from early next year, as recanting buyers seek new ways to test the virgin laws to escape what they subsequently decide to be, unattractive buying propositions.