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New Property Agents and Land Transactions Bill banks on industry’s insights

More than 450 real estate agents, property consultants, assistant property managers, conveyancers and lawyers met earlier this week to discuss the sweeping changes brought on by a revised bill replacing the current Property Agents and Land Transactions (2005) Act, enforced in April.

Real Estate Institute of Tasmania (REIT) chief executive Mark Berry said the new bill passed on Nov 17 last year and will now be known as the Property Agents and Land Transactions (2016) Act.
Among the extensives changes to the old legislation, the current Bill introduces licensing for all those involved in real estate transactions and a requirement for continued education.

Berry said the new revised bill would standardise all current property consultantants and assistant property manager designations into one category that will be licensed and called property representative.

“Currently property advisers and assistant property managers are only registered and not licensed. As a property agent, the person will be able to undertake both sales and property management roles within the industry. All property agents will be required to also take eight hours of Continued Professional Development (CPD) each year,” Berry told Elite Agent.

“An estate representative will also be able to move interstate and have that license recognised under mutual recognition. That is not currently possible for an estate consultant or assistant property manager as they are only registered. Now, they must undergo the full training again in the relevant state they move too,” he said.

He also said agency agreements would be for a maximum of 120 days for sales with a minimum 30-day termination clause for sales contracts and management authorities for property management.

Mark Berry of REIT

“If a sales agreement reaches the 120 days or is terminated and after the 30 day termination period that agreement is at an end. There can be no carry over clauses to continue to bind the client or vendor to the agent.

“Any advertising debt is treated as any other debt and as such does not extend the agreement. If the seller takes the property to another agency, there is no carry over clauses that refer to the introduction of the goods and potentially requiring the vendor to pay two commissions.

“If the seller sells the property within 90 days of termination or expiry of the sole agency agreement to any person introduced to the property by the agent, then the agent can still claim a commission, only if it presented by the agent.

This Industry being as dynamic as it is, it is crucial that all those acting for purchasers and vendors are as highly skilled and as well-educated as possible said REIT president Tony Collidge.

Tasmanian Minister for Resources, Minister for Building and Construction Guy Barnett in a release said the review of the Bill has come after 15 months of deliberations from peak industry groups such as REIT, the Property Agents Board (PAB), and Consumer, Building and Occupational Services (CBOS).

“The review of the original 2005 Act was a response to the consensus on the part of the industry and the regulator of the need for reform.

“Among the initiatives in the new Bill before its governmental approval were to introduce a universal licensing scheme, which will allow for better regulation of the industry and continual improvement of professional and industry standards.

“Consumer protections would strengthen through the new Bill which would allow for tenants and owners of residential properties to make claims for the recovery of losses,” he said.

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June Ramli

June Ramli was a in-house journalist for Elite Agent Magazine.