Gold Coast Land Contracts Could Be Washed Away Without Revetment Wall Special Condition

On 5 July 2013, Gold Coast City Council’s Local Law 17 was gazetted by State Parliament and brought into effect.

The Local Law affects Gold Coast land owners selling waterfront property with specified prescribed works such as a revetment wall, jetty, pontoon or training wall.

If a land owner in the Gold Coast City Council local authority area intends to sell land that has on it (even partially) or is connected to, a revetment wall, training wall, jetty or pontoon, the contract of sale must include a particular clause. If the contract doesn’t contain the clause, the buyer may be able to terminate the contract and obtain a refund of their deposit.

The particular clause must specify:

  • That the Local Law applies to the contract;
  • The particular specified prescribed works that are on the land or connected to the land;
  • That the owner of the works is required to maintain and keep the works in a safe condition and good working order, repair and condition in order to allow the fixture to perform its intended function; and
  • Whether or not there is an outstanding notice issued by the Council under the Local Law.

It is important to note that the clause is not included in the standard terms of the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (‘REIQ’) contract of sale and must be included as a special condition. If the clause is not included in the contract as a special condition, the Buyer may be entitled to terminate the contract.

The application of the Local Law is ambiguous and covers a wide range of situations. It is therefore urged that land owners who have any of the specified prescribed works on or even partially on their land seek specialist advice to determine whether the Local Law is applicable to their circumstances, if they intend to sell their land.

The Local Law only applies to land in the Gold Coast City Council local government area. It does not apply to the Brisbane City, Redlands or Sunshine Coast local authority areas – even though they may have canals and waterfront properties.

The Local Law applies to vacant land, commercial land and residential land. However it’s application to a lot in a community titles scheme where the body corporate may have a pontoon, jetty or revetment wall on common property is unclear. When in doubt, we would recommend that a special condition be included.

Hickey Lawyers has drafted a special condition that is suitable to be used in the REIQ contract of sale.

Any buyers who think they may be able to use Local Law 17 to terminate a contract of sale should also be very careful and obtain legal advice because the Local Law may not be consistent with the Queensland Property Law Act.

For more information on the Local Law or conveyancing don’t hesitate to contact Hickey Lawyers.