Top 3 property law changes to start 2022

Top 3 property law changes to start 2022

As the Queensland property market continues to boom, latest legislative reforms will affect buyers, sellers, property owners/managers and tenants. For best quality legal services across all areas of property law, contact the expert team at Ballantyne Law Group.

Property settlement deadlines 

One of the most significant legal reforms now in effect in Queensland concerns deadlines for property settlements. It comes in response to controversy over settlement delays that have seen prospective buyers miss out on homes or lose substantial deposits.

As of 20 January, the Real Estate Institute of Queensland’s amended standard contract for residential property transactions means buyers or sellers can now unilaterally extend a settlement deadline to a maximum of five business days.

Most Australian states allow a two-week grace period to cover circumstances that may impact a settlement deadline. However, this has not been the case in Queensland, where contracts could be terminated immediately and entitle the vendor to a prospective buyer’s 10 per cent deposit.

Much-publicised recent victims include a young couple who lost their hard-earned $75,000 deposit thanks to a bank error that delayed settlement by a day. Another woman missed out on buying her dream home when settlement was delayed by a mere 13 minutes. Hence the REIQ’s amendment.

While the reform is there to protect buyers, its implementation has attracted some concern over the potential for settlement day chaos. All of which highlights the value of having expert legal advice and representation.

At Ballantyne Law Group on the Gold Coast, our leading lawyers can help you with the new amendment and all other matters in property law.

Where there’s smoke, there’s an alarm

New legislation around smoke alarms in Queensland has been in place since 1 January, with immediate effect for homes or units being sold, leased or having leases renewed.

For all other dwellings, owners have until 2027 to install interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms in bedrooms, halls and on every level. Alarms must be Australian Standard-compliant and be powered by either 240-volt or 10-year lithium batteries.

Rental reforms seek fairer balance

Recent changes to the Housing Legislation Amendment Act 2021 will continue rental law reform in Queensland during 2022.

According to the Queensland Government, the reform seeks to improve safety, security and certainty within the rental market, and strike a fairer balance between tenants and property owners. Priorities include:

– greater transparency and accountability around tenancy arrangements

– applying Minimum Housing Standards to improve confidence that a rental property is safe, secure and functional

– delivering certainty, safety and support for renters suffering domestic and family violence

– encouraging greater availability of pet-friendly rental accommodation

Measures will be staggered to allow renters, property owners and property managers to fully grasp new rights and requirements. Ballantyne Law Group’s Gold Coast property law team is also here to help property owners and tenants with industry-leading advice and representation.

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