CHANGES TO REIQ CONTRACTS IN QUEENSLAND
As of the 20th January 2022 there were changes made to REIQ (Real Estate Institute of Queensland) contracts in Queensland. These include the Contract for Houses and Residential Land (17th ed.) and Contract for Residential Lots in a Community Title Scheme (13th ed.).
Below are some of the main changes that have been made:
1. Settlement Date Extension
Either party can now get a short extension of the settlement date if they are unable to settle on time due to various reasons, such as a delay due to a financier. This is great news as previously some buyers may have been disadvantaged when their financier was not ready for settlement, which in turn may have the consequence of the seller terminating the contract made, with the buyer losing their deposit.
An Extension Notice, given in writing, can be nominated with a new date for settlement up to 5 business days after the scheduled settlement date. The good news is that more than one Extension Notice may be given, as long as the settlement date nominated is no later than 5 business days after the previously scheduled settlement date.
2. Grace Period of Deposit Paid
A buyer who pays a deposit by direct debit is now classed to have paid the deposit on the day they transfer the money to the deposit holder, even if it doesn’t receive their account on that day. As long as they supply a receipt showing the deposit paid.
This positive change helps with delays that may occur for example with electronic payments and non-intentional mistakes where a buyer may make a mistake transferring the deposit to the solicitor’s trust account instead of the agent’s trust account.
Take note that if the deposit is not received by the due date in the contract, the seller can then give notice to the buyer requesting payment to be made within 2 business days. If the deposit funds are not received within those 2 days, the buyer then will be in breach meaning the seller can terminate the contract.
3. Smoke Alarms
As of January 1st 2022 if you enter a contract to sell or lease a property, you must have hardwired, photoelectronic, interconnected smoke alarms installed.
In particular sellers need to install a compliant smoke alarm prior to settlement. In the instance where the smoke alarms are not installed, the buyer will be entitled to a change in the purchase price of 0.15% at settlement. If the smoke alarms are not installed then they will need to claim the adjustment prior to settlement.
4. Warranties for New Sellers
The new contracts will importantly allow for a buyer’s right to terminate the contract if a ‘Show Cause’ or ‘Enforcement Notice’ has been served and it is not satisfied at the contract date.
The seller is also required to disclose by the contract date, that they have received communications from a competent authority (such as the Council, for example) that means works or similar need to be done. This includes any such communications that may lead to an issuance of a ‘show cause’ or ‘enforcement notice’ or a ‘notice to do work on the property’.
5. Pool Compliance Certificates
The seller is now required to provide a pool compliance certificate at settlement for a pool that is not shared unless a Notice of No Pool Safety Certificate is given to the buyer before the contract is signed. If the Seller does not provide a Pool Compliance Certificate the buyer then is able to terminate the contract.
6. Services Infrastructure Passing Through the Land
If there are services infrastructure passing through the land being sold that are not protected by a registered easement, Building Management Statement or statutory authority that has not been disclosed to the buyer, then the buyer then can terminate the contract. This does not include infrastructure related to the delivery of services, for example gas, electricity, telecommunications, water or sewerage) to the property.
We understand that the information above can be a little hard to understand as some of these concepts are not straight forward and simple, thus we recommended you talk to your conveyancer or solicitor as they will explain anything relating to your purchase or the sale of your property.
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