Everything from swimming pool safety certificates to neighbourhood disputes must be disclosed to potential buyers when selling a property, and a failure to do so could land a vendor in hot water.
Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella explains what sellers must inform potential buyers before anyone signs on the dotted line.
“In Queensland, as in all states, it’s crucial for vendors to provide all of the necessary disclosures to ensure their sale goes ahead without a hitch,” Real Estate Institute of Queensland CEO Antonia Mercorella said.
“Failing to disclose particular items can result in the buyer pulling out of the sale or claiming compensation.
“While Queensland sellers have fewer required disclosures than those in other states, there are several that do need to be made, so it’s vital that vendors familiarise themselves with these, prior to listing their property on the market.”
“All encumbrances, such as easements and covenants must be disclosed, regardless of whether or not they are registered on the property,” Ms Mercorella said.
“Easements refer to the right of another person or authority to access part of the property, such as a shared driveway, while a covenant refers to terms and conditions regarding the property.
“Building covenants, for example, are common within new estates, which might require homes be rendered or gardens to be landscaped.
Swimming pool safety certificates
Ms Mercorella said that any property sold with a pool must meet disclosure requirements.
“If your property includes a pool, you’ll need to disclose whether or not you have a pool safety certificate prior to any signed contracts,” she said.
“You’ll need to supply that certificate to the buyer prior to settlement.
“If you don’t have one, you can supply the buyer with a notice of no pool safety certificate, prior to contract, which may be conditional upon a certificate being issued.”
Smoke alarms and safety switches
Vendors must disclose whether or not there are compliant smoke alarms installed and safety switches installed in the property.
“If you have a tenant in your property, you must disclose this prior to the contract of sale being signed. If you don’t, the buyer is entitled to a vacant property at settlement,” Ms Mercorella said.
If there has been an application to or an order made by QCAT in relation to a fence or tree dispute with a neighbour, you must disclose this and provide a copy prior to a contract of sale being signed.
On the off chance that your land has been listed on the contaminated land register because of agricultural or industrial use, you must disclose this to any potential buyer prior to sale.
Owner builder notice
“If owner builder work has been registered in the seven years prior to your sale, you must provide the relevant notice to the buyer before they sign a contract,” Ms Mercorella said.
“The notice should include the details of the work done, along with the name of the permit holder, a statement confirming the work was done under an owner builder permit and a prescribed warning.”
Units and apartments
Ms Mercorella said that if a unit or apartment is being sold, there are a number of disclosures that need to be made pertaining to the body corporate, so it’s important for vendors to be aware of those specific requirements.
The REIQ recommends that buyers engage a solicitor to manage the conveyancing process which will involve a series of recommended searches relevant to the property.