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24.08.2022

Alert

Feedback sought on restricting developers’ rights

Developers are strongly encouraged to complete a new Queensland government online survey to provide industry feedback on a review which could result in legislative amendments significantly restricting developers’ rights.


About the survey

As part of the Queensland government’s ongoing Property Law Review, the government is calling on developers to complete an online survey to provide feedback on—

  1. the use of sunset date clauses to terminate off-the-plan contracts, and
  2. the release of deposits to developers before settlement of an off-the-plan contract.

The objective is to inform the government about whether buyers are vulnerable to developers abusing such provisions in off-the-plan contracts and if any legislative amendments are required to restrict developers’ rights.

Although the government is only calling for feedback at this stage, this process could lead to the implementation of legislation like that already in place in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory which generally only allows developers to use a sunset clause to terminate an off-the-plan contract where either—

  • the buyer provides their written consent to the contract being terminated, or
  • the Supreme Court makes an order permitting the contract to be terminated.

The survey will also inform the government if legislation is required to confirm a buyer’s deposit for an off-the-plan contract can only be released to a developer at the time of settlement, or if another contract finalisation event occurs where the developer is entitled to the deposit.


We recommend developers complete the survey

The survey is available for developers to complete until 14 September 2022. We strongly recommend developers complete this survey to ensure the government has well-informed feedback from all industry participants before decisions are made regarding potential legislative changes that could have serious impact on the risk profile of development projects moving forward.

Reach out to a member of our Real Estate team if you have any questions or need to know more.


Authors

Luke Hefferan

Luke Hefferan

Lawyer

Contact McMahon Clarke

Brisbane
T +61 7 3239 2900
A Level 7, 100 Creek Street, Brisbane Qld 4000

Melbourne
T +61 3 9909 1400
A Level 2, 696 Bourke Street, Melbourne Vic 3000