The quaintly named Property Occupations Bill is finally in the public domain with Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie already receiving submissions on his first stab at slashing PAMDA red tape to relieve the compliance burden on Queensland’s real estate and property development businesses.

The form 30 C warning statement and the accompanying requirement for “attention directing” notifications to buyers have been elegantly done away with and replaced by a single requirement to place a notification immediately above and on the same page as “each place where the buyer signs”.

The newly succinct caution need only comprise the following paragraph:

‘Except if the property is sold by auction or the buyer has waived the cooling-off period, the contract is subject to a 5 business day statutory cooling-off period. It is recommended the buyer obtain independent legal advice about  the contract, before signing.’

Just 44 words incorporated into the residential contract, will replace a bureaucratic ritual that contains as much pointless mumbo jumbo as an instruction booklet for getting out of bed.

That non-compliance will no longer afford a termination right – it simply creates an offence on the part of the seller and/or agent – is something that some disapprove of. The Queensland Law Society submits the abolition of the termination right goes too far as it may lead to “shysters” deceiving gullible buyers.

The “at each place” requirement  may itself be the source of some confusion unless clarification is provided.  To clarify, the warning  should merely be optional in places where a buyer signs their initials as opposed to those places where a “usual signature” is normally applied.

Given the brevity of proposed statutory warning, even the double compliance requirement for options – at the time of entering into the option and again on the formation of contracts as a result of their exercise – is manageable.

The disclosure requirements as exemplified in the current form 27C – much hated by some sections of the industry – will remain.

But there are many other fixes needed that bear repeating while the draftsman’s pen is still in his (or her) hand:-

  • Pedantic form filling rules for forms 27c & 22a etc – with their associated triple whammy of agent risk: no commission, being sued & fines – still have to go;
  • BCCMA forms – s 206 disclosure; the BCCM 14 warning statement and CMS – must be incorporated into one single buyer disclosure statement;
  • The PAMDA “residential property” definition must be clarified to remove it as a source of  dispute;
  • Pool safety warnings must also be incorporated into the one single buyer disclosure statement;
  • Tree branch compliance must likewise be incorporated into the disclosure.

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