The Property Law Bill 2023 will replace the Property Law Act 1974 (PLA), introducing some of the biggest changes for the Queensland property industry in almost 50 years. 

It contains a new seller disclosure regime which will require sellers to disclose extensive information to buyers regarding property before the buyer signs the contract where previously buyers undertake most of these searches and usually after a contract has been signed.

It will have widespread impact on sellers, landlords, real estate agents and those preparing conveying documentation for property under $10 million.

The Bill also amends and consolidates other relevant Acts, such as the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997, the Property Occupations Act 2014 and the Limitations of Actions Act 1974.

Currently, under an assignment of lease, a tenant who assigns their interest and any guarantor is typically not released from liability upon assignment, except in certain circumstances, such as where the lease is a retail shop lease or where the lease prescribes a release of liability. This means tenants and guarantors who do not secure a release of liability may be held accountable for any breach by the assignee (i.e. the new tenant) or any subsequent assignee.

Under the Bill, a Tenant (and any guarantor) who assigns their interest under a lease will be released from liability when an assignee assigns their interest to a subsequent assignee. This statutory release of liability means that a tenant will not be liable for any breach of the subsequent assignee. However, Tenants will still be liable for any breach of the initial assignee unless the lease or legislation states otherwise. The release provided for in the Bill cannot be excluded by contract, and any provision in a lease to the contrary will be deemed void.  As a result, Landlords will also need to start considering whether they are satisfied with any covenant and security provided by a proposed assignee.

Although the Bill is still subject to change, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (‘REIQ’), which is considered the ‘peak body for the real estate industry in Queensland’, have concerns with the Bill in its current form.  These concerns and apprehensions mainly centre around the proposed seller disclosure scheme. REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said, “it’s alarming that the proposed legislation has been introduced into Parliament while we are still working through key stakeholder consultation”.

Disclaimer : This publication is intended only to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render professional advice and neither purports nor is intended, to be advice on any particular matter. No reader should act on the basis of any matter contained in this publication without first obtaining specific professional advice.