Draft Property Law Bill 2022 to provide facelift on 48-year-old Act - triSearch

Draft Property Law Bill 2022 to provide facelift on 48-year-old Act

Property Law Bill 2022 is now open for feedback.

Queensland property lawyers can now influence one of Australia’s longest standing property Acts, with the Property Law Bill 2022 now publicly available for community feedback.

The long-standing Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) is set to be replaced as new draft legislation, was available for feedback until 5pm, 21 October, 2022.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman released a statement saying the new Bill has been developed to modernise property laws in Queensland with contemporary language that reflected current commercial practice.

“Owning and dealing with property, establishing co-ownership arrangements, signing and enforcing lease agreements and managing mortgages are major concerns that affect Queenslanders everywhere, so it is essential that our property laws are modern and robust,” Minister Fentiman said.

“The current Property Law Act 1974 has generally served our state well for nearly 50 years, but it’s time for it to be repealed and replaced with modern legislation.

“Before we introduce the Bill to the Parliament, we want to hear from stakeholders and interested Queenslanders to better inform policy options that need settling in the Bill.

“This is legislation that will most likely effect everyone in our State at some stage of their lives, so all Queenslanders deserve the chance to have their say.”

Independent research reveals 232 recommended Property Law Act changes

The draft Bill recommendations have largely come from recommendations from the Commercial and Property Law Research Centre at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), after it lodged an independent review of current legislation.

QUT’s final report made 232 recommendations, the bulk of which call for the modernisation of property law in Queensland with contemporary language that reflects current commercial practice.

Minister Fentiman said following QUTs broad-ranging, independent review of current legislation from 2013 to 2018, it is now over to industry stakeholders for review.

“QUT’s final report made 232 recommendations, the bulk of which are for the repeal of outdated provisions or the redrafting of existing provisions in modern language,” she said.

“While QUT’s recommendations have generally been adopted in the Bill, some property industry, legal and academic stakeholders expressed disagreement in certain areas during recent targeted consultation.

“To assist the public in considering and commenting on the draft Bill, areas of disagreement have been highlighted in the Consultation Paper so that submissions can been well-informed.”

Some examples of the proposed new provisions introduced by the draft Bill include:

  • A person can lease property to themselves, without the interests merging;
  • Time stops being of the essence in a contract for the sale of land if a party to the contract cannot complete settlement of the contract on the day and time of settlement due to an “adverse event”;
  • If a Tenant assigns the lease to another person (the assignee) and after the assignment of the lease, the assignee assigns the lease to another person (subsequent assignee), the tenant is released from liability to the Landlord for a breach of the lease by the subsequent assignee; and
  • If a Landlord refuses to renew or extend the term of a lease because the Tenant has breached the terms of the lease, the Tenant has given a non-conforming option notice, or the Tenant has breached a condition precedent to exercising the option, the Tenant may apply to the Court for relief in certain circumstances.

The proposed Bill is currently open for public feedback and some property industry, legal and academic stakeholders have already expressed disagreement with certain areas of the Bill.

Written submissions in response to the draft Property Law Bill can be emailed to PropertyLawActReview@justice.qld.gov.au.

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