FIRB Approval for Residential Land Purchases in Queensland

FIRB Approval for Residential Land Purchases in Queensland.

For foreign acquirers purchasing residential land in Queensland, there are many important factors to take into consideration prior to entering into a contract of sale.

One such consideration is whether FIRB approval is required under the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth).

Foreign acquirers purchasing residential land in Queensland may be required to obtain a notification from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) that it has no objection to their acquisition of the property. Penalties apply for foreign acquirers who fail to comply.

For the purposes of FIRB approval, a buyer of residential land in Queensland may be a foreign acquirer if they fall into one of the following categories:

  1. A person who is not a permanent resident of Australia or an Australian citizen;
  2. A corporation where one or more of the following holds a substantial interest in the corporation:
    • An individual not ordinarily resident in Australia;
    • A foreign corporation; or
    • A foreign government;
  3. A trust where a trustee of the trust is a foreign entity.

We note that the above categories are not exhaustive, and buyers should contact Miller Sockhill Lawyers for advice on whether they are considered a foreign acquirer.

There are exemptions from the requirement to obtain FIRB approval. In particular, buyers who meet the following criteria will not require FIRB approval to purchase residential land in Queensland:

  1. Australian citizens;
  2. New Zealand citizens;
  3. Australian permanent residents; and
  4. Foreign persons acquiring property as joint tenants with their Australian citizen spouse, New Zealand citizen spouse or Australian permanent resident spouse.

FIRB approval generally must be obtained prior to entering into a contract; however, a special condition can be inserted into the contract making it subject to the buyer obtaining FIRB approval. Most standard contracts for the sale of residential land in Queensland contain a warranty by the buyer that they do not require FIRB approval. For this reason, foreign acquirers should contact Miller Sockhill Lawyers for advice on purchasing land in Queensland prior to entering into a contract of sale.

For further information, please contact Rachel Clutterbuck, Lawyer on 07 5444 4750 or [email protected]

Located in Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast, Miller Sockhill Lawyers regularly advise clients on property law matters.

FIRB Approval
FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) Approval