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QLD sellers may have to disclose a home’s flood damage history

The flood history of a property in Queensland may need to be disclosed to potential buyers under a proposed plan from the State Government.

According to the Courier Mail, the State Government was looking at ways to ensure ​​”natural hazard risk”, such as potential flooding, is disclosed to prospective buyers so they fully understand the risks.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the State Government was looking at different options to inform buyers, including requiring sellers to disclose a property’s flood history or having local governments handle disclosure.

“We’re also continuing to review how flooding has impacted recent development and how Queensland’s planning framework, including local government planning provisions and state planning instruments, can better address and respond to these risks,” Mr Miles told the newspaper.

“Recently I convened a meeting of SEQ Mayors to discuss the recent flooding and ideas to enable more resilient communities into the future.”

Flood zones have been thrust into the spotlight this year after more than 7800 homes were water damaged in February and March, with 4000 deemed uninhabitable.

Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) General Counsel and company secretary Katrina Beavon said a seller was not currently required to disclose previous flood damage.

“If a real estate agent or a vendor of a property is asked whether a property has been flood impacted, then an accurate answer is required,” Ms Beavon said.

“If a real estate agent were to give a false answer that would constitute unlawful behaviour.”

Ms Beavon said in most parts of Queensland, councils produced flood maps and other tools to help keep buyers informed.

“We appreciate that these flood maps are not always perfect and it does take time to update them,” she said.

“So if a buyer is considering a property, we strongly recommend that they speak to their solicitor about the sorts of searches and due diligence to carry out before purchasing a property.”

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Rowan Crosby

Rowan Crosby is a senior journalist at Elite Agent specialising in finance and real estate.