|Extracts from||June, 2001|
Agents and Motor Dealers Act Update
Alan McKernan - Senior Associate Kinneally Mahoney
and appointment of relief managers
current legislation, the position for Resident Managers who wish to
take annual leave is somewhat unclear. There is a pool of
experienced managers who offer their services as relief managers. Relief
managers are not licensed for the particular building given the
short-term nature of their position. The Office of Fair Trading has
usually looked the other way in such circumstances.
Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 ("the Act") has detailed
leave provisions. There are fines for breach of those provisions.
In summary, the position after July 1, 2001 is as follows:
Most Caretaking and Letting Agreements also specify leave provisions, and those provisions will continue to also apply if they are more restrictive than the Act. For example, although the Act allows up to 12 weeks leave, the Caretaking and Letting Agreements may restrict this to 4 weeks.
legislation to affect residential accommodation managers
Office of Fair Trading
accommodation managers across Queensland will be aware the new Property
Agents and Motor Dealers Act takes effect from 1 July 2001.
Trading Minister Merri Rose says the Act is a significant piece of
legislation that contains changes reflecting modern consumer law and
requiring agents and managers to treat consumers fairly with a high
degree of accountability and skill.
Act contains changes particularly relevant to on-site residential area
managers and owners of property.
Act introduces nine licensing categories relating to the property
industry with one called a Restricted Letting Agent. This category
licenses an agent to let property and collect rent in multi-dwelling
complexes. Current holders of a restricted real estate agent’s licence
(letting only) will have their licence automatically converted to a
restricted letting agent’s licence when the new Act comes into force.
Any person wishing to obtain this licence must make an application to the Office of Fair Trading and meet the following criteria:
licensee must reside in the complex and can manage more than one
building provided there is no public roadway dividing the block, and has
the body corporate’s approval to manage each building. If the licensee
does manage more than one building complex, they must reside in one of
the building complexes under management. Managers appointed by the
Licensee will also be subject to the same requirements and must be
licensed by the Office of Fair Trading.
All tenants will now be given extra protection through the new Code of Conduct, which provides rules specifically for the conduct of Residential Letting Agents. Those who already act professionally and ethically should have no difficulty in complying with the new Code, which aims to ensure a consistent standard throughout the State.
new and exciting initiative within the Act is the introduction of an
Internal Dispute Resolution process. Under the Act every licensee must
implement a procedure for handling complaints. The procedure must be
practical in application and readily accessible by residents. Any
complaint received must be investigated and responded to within seven
days. The manager may respond by giving a reason for rejecting the
complaint or accepting the complaint and rectifying/making restitution
within seven days or an agreed time period. If the manager decides on the
latter then certain procedures must be followed.
we all know electronic banking and computerised accounting procedures are
increasingly popular. The new Act has introduced a capacity for trust
accounts where monies can be received and payments deducted. However, the
licensee must obtain written approval from the Chief Executive of the
Office of Fair Trading before the account can be opened.
Office of Fair Trading urges all agents to ensure they understand their
new obligations under the Act and comply from 1 July.
information and details are available on line at www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au
or from your local Office of Fair Trading. The Act and Regulations can be
viewed at the website.
The Office of Fair Trading plan to have Form 20 (Appointments) and all other forms available at the website for completion online and saving electronically. Those steps are probably six months away. For the present, Form 20 can be downloaded but must be completed manually offline. Section 115 prohibits any changes or editing of Form 20.
Financial Returns on Investment Property - Research Project
has responded strongly to a research proposal that has sought to prove
that property investment in strata titled holiday accommodation does not
provide viable financial returns.
Secretary, Mr John Anderson, was alerted to an expression of intent by
the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) for Sustainable Tourism, which
is based at the Griffith University campus on the Gold Coast.
Anderson has responded to the CRC, offering to work with the
researchers, but to examine the broader impact of the industry’s
activities, rather than just the investment issue. Similar research led
to a general criticism of community title schemes as residential
believes that many of the industry issues have not previously been
well-researched and that many aspects of the industry’s role have
grown,” said Mr Anderson.
has offered their support for the research project and indicated ten
areas that could be considered in the project, and we hope that it will
be progressed by the CRC,” said Mr Anderson.
has suggested some areas for review in the CRC’s research, which
include financial returns on investment property:
CRC proposal appears to aim at an evaluation of the effectiveness of
strata title type accommodation as an investment, a role addressed in
part by the Managed Investments Act and particularly by ASIC's Policy
The researcher needs to be aware that investors generally need to assess five areas when considering the effectiveness of an investment in strata titled holiday property:
is concerned that the present CRC research proposal may confirm the
“profitless volume” of some buildings, without considering the
investor's objectives and other benefits sought.
We suggest that any study should consider the forces in the industry that determine financial returns, including a review of the spread in the effectiveness of investments and the factors that cause that spread. Such a review would include five identified issues:
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