Sunset Clauses Update

23 Apr 2023 6:34 PMMark Boothman Sunset Clauses Update

Sunday Night wrap-up (Parliament Last week). Last week in parliament, we had a big win on changing laws around sunset clauses and buying land off the plan. Hopefully, the legislation will be tabled at the next parliamentary sitting. We (myself, affected families, and local reporter Keith Woods) have been pushing for changes to legislation to make it fair for buyers and developers.

I have been pleading with the State Government to adopt legislation used in other states to stop unethical practices. NSW has legislation in place that adequately protects buyers and developers.

Currently, in Queensland, a developer in a booming market can deliberately delay completing a development to enact the sunset clause and sell the property at a far higher price.

This unethical behaviour has hurt many local families. For example, a buyer pays their deposit to buy a property off the plan and then pays a builder to design a house and landscaping. Unfortunately, after paying their deposit and signing a contract, the property market booms, and the land is valued at a far higher price. As a result, the developer slows the approval process and works on the site so they can enact the sunset clause (after, e.g. 18 months) and terminates the contract. The developer then sells the property at a higher price to another buyer, leaving the original buyer with no contract, no land, and out of pocket with their plans to build their dream home.

There also needs to be protections for developers for rising materials and labour costs. In NSW, there are protections for developers dealing with rising costs of material and labour.