On 1 December 2014 the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) was replaced by four new pieces of legislation:
- Property Occupations Act 2014
- Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act 2014
- Debt Collectors (Field Agents and Collection Agents) Act 2014; and the
- Agents Financial Administration Act 2014
In addition to the above, the Land Sales and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2014 also came into effect.
The new laws aim to cut red tape, simplify transactions and increase transparency.
So, what are the key features of the new legislation that Real Estate Agents need to be aware of?
– The PAMDA Form 30c Warning Statement no longer exists. There is no longer a requirement for a warning statement such as a PAMDA Form 30C (or BCCM 14) to be attached to a contract or for the seller or seller’s agent to draw the buyer’s attention to a warning statement.
– Contracts for residential property now simply need to include a short statement immediately above the place where the buyer signs the contract advising as follows: –
This contract may be subject to a five (5) 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 that the buyer obtain an independent valuation and independent legal advice about the contract and his or her cooling-off rights, before signing.
This notice has been included in the new REIQ (Tenth Edition) Contract.
– Buyers no longer have a right to terminate the contract if the aforementioned statement is excluded or is in the wrong place. The penalty for non-compliance is, however, a fine of up to $22,000.00 for individuals and $110,000.00 for corporations.
– The PAMDA Form 32a Lawyers Certificate for waiving or shortening the cooling off period has also been abolished. A buyer, rather than the buyer’s solicitor can now waive or shorten the cooling off period by giving written notice to the seller.
– While the cooling off provision continues to be excluded from residential auction contracts, the cooling off period will now also be excluded from contracts that are entered into within two business days of an auction where the buyer was a registered bidder at the auction.
– Auctioneers need to hold a new licence under the Property Occupations Act 2014 to hold property auctions and trainee auctioneers are no longer recognised.
– “Commission Capping” is now obsolete – agents are free to negotiate commission with their clients. Agents are also no longer required to disclose to the buyer how much commission they are receiving from the seller.
– The maximum term of appointment for sole or exclusive agency has changed from 60 days to 90 days. Appointments that are for 90 days may be terminated after 60 days though.
– Agents are no longer required to display a copy of their licence to the public in their office.
If you would like any further information on Queensland’s new property laws please contact us on 1300 132 088.
To access a list of the new prescribed forms or any further information you can visit the Office of Fair Trading website. The Office of Fair Trading is also offering information sessions on YouTube to ensure that everyone is informed on the legislative changes. See http://www.youtube.com/user/FairTradingQLD