Australia's Queensland Ups Ante for Home Sustainability

New Queensland government regulation is requiring home sellers to prepare a sustainability declaration before marketing their homes for sale, according to a press release from Sustainability Reports.

The regulations were introduced to assist buyers in understanding the environmental credentials of homes for sale and improve the awareness of sustainability features.

The regulation goes into effect beginning Jan. 1, 2010. Failure to comply can lead to fines of up to $10,000 for real estate agents and $4,000 for sellers.

"The biggest issue has been the short timeframe agents and owners have had to adjust to new requirements. The industry has just over six weeks to comply, including Christmas," Tim Fields, operations manager with Sustainability Reports, said.

"Adding to this is the complexity of the Sustainability Declaration. Most owners would not know the R value of their insulation or the energy efficiency rating of their air conditioner. It's just not that simple.

"We have prepared a detailed set of checks and developed an inspection process that ensures efficient and thorough completion of the Sustainability Declaration and compliance with the new laws," he added.

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