Marino Law | Gold Coast Law Firm

Queensland property law developments in 2019

First home loan deposit scheme, land tax changes, combustible cladding extensions and paper certificates of title become redundant

The 5% first home loan deposit scheme

first home buyers schemeFrom 1 January 2020, Scott Morrison’s Federal Government will outlay an estimated $500 million to fund the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (“Scheme”), which will assist first home buyers nationally to enter the property market.

Provided the first home buyer has saved a deposit of 5% of the property value, the Federal Government, via the National Housing, Finance and Investment Corporation will guarantee the additional loan amount between that 5% and up to 20% of the property value.

This means that Buyers will only have to save a 5% deposit, as opposed to the usual 20%, and will no longer be required to obtain Lender’s Mortgage Insurance. On a $400,000.00 loan, this represents an approximate saving of $10,000.00 on Lender’s Mortgage Insurance alone.

The Scheme is planned to be available to single individuals with an annual income of up to $125,000.00 or couples with a combined income of up to $200,000.00, provided they are both first home buyers.

The Scheme will not be applicable to every single first home buyer loan application, and will be capped to 10,000 loans per year. In 2018, there were approximately 112,000 loans applied for by first home buyers, which means that the Scheme will only apply to approximately 10% of loan applications. The value of eligible homes under the Scheme will also vary by region.

The Scheme is proposed to remain in place for the life of the loan, but would cease in the event of a refinance.


Marino Law has previously written an article which sets out important information regarding the Building and Other Legislation (Cladding) Amendment Regulation 2018, which commenced on 1 October 2019.

A copy of that article can be found by clicking here.

Part 1 of the regime required owners of affected buildings to identify whether the building has combustible cladding and complete an online checklist with the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (“QBCC”) by 29 March 2019.

Due to delays with completion of Part 1, the Queensland Government has extended the deadlines for completion of Part 2, which requires an owner to engage a qualified building professional to answer various questions about the materials used in construction and confirm whether the exterior of the building is potentially combustible. The current timeframe is 29 May 2019, however this has now been extended to 31 July 2019.

Where Part 2 identifies that a building has combustible cladding, Part 3 involves the owner engaging a fire engineer to prepare a fire safety risk assessment and supply the fire engineer’s details to the QBCC by 27 August 2019, which has now been extended to 31 October 2019.

The final fire engineers report is still to be given to QBCC by 3 May 2021.


The Queensland Government has increased the rates of land tax payable by companies and trusts whose combined landholdings are $5,000,000.00 or more.

The rates have been increased by 0.25% and the new rates are as follows:-

  • 25% for each dollar above $5 million; and
  • 75% for each dollar above $10 million.

Absentees who are not permanent residents of Australia will have their 1.5% land tax surcharge increased to 2% from 2019-20. This rate will apply to individuals, foreign corporations and trustees of foreign trusts.

The definition of absentee is also changing and from 30 June 2019, Australian citizens and permanent residents that hold permanent visas living, working or travelling overseas for an extended period will no longer be classed as absentees.


In Queensland, the current Torrens Titling System is such that a property owner can elect to have an electronic title, or the more traditional paper certificate of title as proof their ownership.

However, from 1 October 2019, amendments to the Land Title Act 1994 (Qld) will result in paper certificates of title no longer having any legal effect. These paper certificates will instead become an item of historic or sentimental value only.

There will also no longer be an option for an owner to lodge a Form 19 – Application for Certificate of Title with the Land Registry to obtain a paper certificate of title.

There will no longer be any need for the paper certificate of title to be presented to the Land Registry when a dealing is lodged for registration, or, if same is lost, there will no longer be a need to dispense with producing the paper certificate of title, in order for that dealing to be registered.


Our property and commercial solicitors are well informed and technically focused to as to be able to provide you with commercial and practical advice across a wide array of transactions.

We practice in all commercial and property matters. For further information regarding any of the matters raised in this article, or to discuss any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact one of our experienced team today.

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