Property Alert

      Transferring a Lease or License for State Leases

      By Jessica Douglas

      On the 2nd of December 2019 the Queensland Government introduced an exemption from the need to obtain approval to transfer certain State Leases. Leases over State land are only issued for certain purposes, such as grazing, agriculture, tourism and telecommunications and those leases generally run for a term of up to 30 years. In some instances a lease or license may need to be transferred on an event such as the sale of land.

      Approval is required by the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (Department) to transfer a lease or license. However as a result of the changes made by the State Government, certain lessees are now exempt from the requirement to obtain approval from the Minister and relevant transfer documents can be lodged with the Titles Registry without the Minister's consent.

      The exemption applies to lessees of the following nature:-  

      1. Primary producers where the lease is primarily for primary production such as aquaculture, viticulture and agriculture;
      2. Residential Leases where the use is primarily residential and comprises of storing a motor vehicle, boat or equipment owned by the landholder and for the landholders private use. Uses such as cultivating gardens or lawns for private use are also exempt; and
      3. Business and Government Core business leases used for business, tourism, commercial and industrial purposes.

      It is important to note that all parties to the transfer should ensure that there is no outstanding rent or interest owing to the State as of the date of settlement. If there is outstanding rent owing, the incoming lessee could become liable for all outstanding fees payable to the State in relation to the lease.

      If an exemption applies it will also be shown as an “administrative advice” on the relevant electronic title. The standard Form 1 Transfer and Form 24 Property information still have to be provided in respect to the transfer of the property.

      If you are selling or purchasing an interest in a State Lease or a license to use land contact our property team for further advice.

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