We know that from January 1st every seller of a property in Queensland will have to fill in a 2 page Sustainability checklist.
We attended a Department information session today and one thing’s become very clear: this is a Government rush job of mammoth proportions!
On 3 fairly significant issues the Department couldn’t provide an answer – they still haven’t fully digested their own legislation. For example, they couldn’t tell the meeting if you need to mention the body corp pool when you sell your apartment. House yes, apartment “we’ll have to get back to you”.
A building inspector spoke up to advise that his insurers can’t yet confirm if they’ll cover him for completing a Sus Dec. So his industry is not going to be an easy solution for completing the form, at least in the short term.
The Department did make one thing very clear though: if a seller is unsure about an item then they can leave it blank. When asked if that meant all boxes blank could still be a valid form the answer was yes.
There is to be no penalty relating to the form other than for failing to complete one prior to offering the property for sale. And even then we understand it will be up to local governments to enforce….
The Department say the form is to help buyers compare homes and weigh up their sustainability features. It’s an “education and marketing tool”.
And we agree with the sentiment behind that.
What a shame the government didn’t spend the time educating the marketplace and industry before rushing this in. The risk now is the Declaration will become a low-value sheet of process, most of them largely incomplete, and it will lose its real value.
Love to hear your comments.