More red tape adds to worry
THE Real Estate Institute of Queensland has criticised the state government’s Sustainability Declaration because of its lack of information and the speed at which the forms were rolled out.
“There hasn’t been enough public information about it. I think it’s a bit stupid really,” the institute’s Bundaberg spokesman Michael Dempsey said.
From January 1, homeowners wishing to sell will need to complete the 35-question form before their house, townhouse or unit can be listed on the market.
Mr Dempsey said there were a number of questions people wishing to sell were asking.
“People are not sure whether a lay person can fill this out or if you need a professional,” he said.
A fact sheet on the Sustainability Declaration says the form is “self-assessable”. However, questions on the form include asking the rating of taps in the house.
Mr Dempsey said that was just the start of prospective sellers’ fears.
“Everyone is concerned it could affect the value of your home.”
The speed at which the Sustainability Declaration was being implemented was further complicated by the Christmas period, which meant a large number of people were on holidays, Mr Dempsey said.
Member for Burnett Rob Messenger called for the revocation, or at least a six-month delay to the introduction of the form, which he believed amounted to “red tape”.
“This new government regulation is creating chaos, panic and huge work for real estate agents, with many saying: ‘How do we contact all our clients over the Christmas holiday period?’” he said.
The forms would add between about $200 and $500 to the cost of selling a home, to get building inspectors to help complete the form, Mr Messenger said.
Sellers who do not complete the form face a fine of up to $2000.
Mr Messenger said the form was a “sneaky and underhanded” way for another government tax to be imposed.
“Once a household has declared on this form, which they must do, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced, then it is quite easy for any government to levy a fee on the amount of that greenhouse gas.”