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Exiting a contract set to become harder

By Staff Reporter
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Property contracts have been put under the spotlight in a new draft Bill looking to close ‘loopholes’ that have been used in the past, according to a government announcement.

Queensland’s attorney-general, Jarrod Bleije, said today that the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) is under proposed changes to streamline home sale contracts.

The bill has been split into four, including the Property Occupations Bill 2013, with one of the key amendments being to close exploited loopholes used in the past to wriggle out of contracts.

“Under the current legislation, property agents must attach a separate form that includes a warning statement about cooling-off periods and legal advice to the sale contract,” Mr Bleije said.

“They must then provide a clear statement directing the buyer’s attention to the warning statement and if they don’t, a buyer can terminate the contract within 90 days.

“In our draft bill released today we have removed the requirement to provide warning statements and the red tape around the process.”

In the past, said Mr Bleije, buyers have used details such as a lack of a staple or the page order to terminate a contract.

Part of the changes are also said to be implemented to maintain a high level of consumer protection.

“Consumers are often overwhelmed by pages of paperwork so they just sign on the dotted line without reading the fine print, which can be dangerous,” he said.

“These changes will simplify the process for consumers by incorporating the PAMDA warning statement into the contract, removing unnecessary duplication from the buying process.”

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