News & Media

November 07, 2016

NSW government releases reform paper to improve real estate standards

Courtesy of The Real Estate Conversation  www.therealestateconversation.com.au

In a move broadly accepted by the industry, the NSW government has released the Real Estate and Property Services Industry Reform Paper.

The NSW Government has released its Real Estate and Property Services Industry Reform Paper, with the aim of improving industry standards and protecting consumers.

The key recommendations in the paper are improving training standards, increasing transparency, and strengthening trust account processes.

The proposed reforms include increasing the number of training units required to gain a certificate of registration from four to seven units. Applicants will also be required to complete practical work experience in order to gain a certificate and become a licensee.

The government is also proposing to create a new type of license: licensee in-charge. These agents will be required to oversee trust accounts, supervise agents, and ensure agencies are complying with the law.

The proposals will also giving NSW Fair Trading greater powers to deal with rogue agents.

Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said, "Purchasing or selling a property is often a life changing decision and consumers need certainty that suitably qualified agents are managing this process."

John Cunningham, President of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, said the REINSW will back all the reforms. "We have been lobbying the government on reforms for the industry in particular around education and training for many years," he said.

“For too long people have been able to enter the profession with a minimum level of education that is totally inadequate for the important role real estate professionals play in people’s lives," said Cunningham.

The review is the largest conducted by the NSW government in 20 years, and, if implemented, will make NSW's laws even more stringent than Victoria's.

The paper is available at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au, and submissions will be accepted until 5 December. The legislation needed to implement these reforms is expected to be introduced to parliament in the first half of 2017.