Late yesterday, the Queensland Parliament passed the Housing (Building Better Futures) Amendment Bill 2017.
The implementation of these long-awaited reforms comes over four years after the review of the manufactured homes legislation was announced on 18 September 2013.
Park owners will recall from our previous articles that the Amendment Bill was introduced to the Queensland Parliament on 10 August 2017, and was referred to the Public Works and Utilities Committee for detailed consideration. After 96 submissions were received and three public hearings were conducted, the Committee tabled its report on the Bill that contained 18 recommendations.
Parliament considered the Bill over the course of 24-25 October 2017, and eventually passed it once some further amendments had been made to the Bill.
The amendments made to the Bill concerning the manufactured homes legislation covered three issues:
- The new disclosure provisions were amended so that a waiver under proposed Section 29A operates to reduce the required disclosure period for both the initial disclosure documents and the supplementary disclosure documents to seven days (rather than 14 days as appeared in the original Bill). This amendment was made in response to Recommendation Two of the Committee.
- Various provisions (including those with respect to termination within the cooling off period) were amended to include a requirement for notice to also be given to any person that has granted a security interest in the manufactured home, and related amendments.
- The previous requirement in the Bill for a seller to refund the buyer, in addition to any amounts paid by the buyer to the seller, the buyer’s reasonable expenses arising out of or incidental to the sale agreement where the buyer terminates under the cooling off period relevant to an assignment, was deleted. In this circumstance, the seller must now only refund the amounts the buyer has paid to the seller under that agreement.
In addition, Housing Minister Mick de Brenni announced that the Government accepted:
- Recommendation Six of the Committee – that is, that the Minister report to the House within 12 months of commencement of the amended utility charge provisions included in clause 49 of the Bill (that is, the amendments to Section 99A), about the results of the department’s consideration of concerns raised by stakeholders about the passing on of pensioner rebates from park owners to home owners in residential parks.
- Recommendations Seven and Eight of the Committee, and confirmed that those matters will be brought to the attention of the Treasurer – that is:
- The Minister ask the Treasurer to consider whether the owners of land upon which mixed use parks are located (as opposed to the owners of land upon which other types of residential accommodation is located) might attract significant and, potentially inequitable land tax liability, particularly in circumstances where park owners seek to redevelop the park.
- The Minister ask the Treasurer to consider whether the laws determining the land tax liability of owners of land upon which mixed use parks are located should be reviewed.
With some exceptions, the majority of the Bill’s provisions with respect to the manufactured homes legislation commence on a date to be proclaimed, and we will publish a further Alert once those remaining commencement dates are known.
Park owners need to be aware of the new requirements imposed by the Bill as well as the recent Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Regulation 2017 that is already in force.