REINSW suggests alternative to amendment in PSBA Act
22 October 2018
On 31 July 2018, REINSW made a submission to NSW Fair Trading suggesting an alternative to a proposed amendment to section 205(4)(b) of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 (NSW) (PSBA Act).

The proposed amendment would allow an authorised officer* to enter part of a premises on which an auction of residential property is being conducted or which is open for inspection in advance of, or in preparation for, an auction.

Amendment made despite REINSW concerns

The amendment as proposed by NSW Fair Trading is now part of the PSBA Act. 

“Authorised officers can now enter a residential premises at any time in which it is open for inspection prior to the auction day,” says REINSW CEO, McKibbin.

“While REINSW agrees, in principle, with the proposed amendment, we believe it should limit the authorised officer’s right of access. REINSW recommended this right of access be limited to the open for inspection on the auction day.”

Prior to the recent change, section 205(4)(b) of the PSBA Act permitted an authorised officer to access the residential premises only when an auction commences.

“REINSW understands that this prevented the authorised officer from carrying out certain investigation or enforcement activities,” says McKibbin. “For example, they would be prohibited from the bidder registration process as it occurs prior to the auction.

“With this in mind, we suggested authorised officers be granted access to the premises on the day of the auction.

“Unfortunately, NSW Fair Trading did not accept our alternative to the proposed amendment, instead opting to change the legislation in favour of their original amendment.”

Jeopardising auction campaigns

McKibbin says he is concerned the legislation now has the power to disrupt, and even derail, auction campaigns.

“Authorised officers should not have the right to enter a premises during an open house to conduct an investigation under the guise of the general public viewing a property.

“The actions and activities they may undertake could jeopardise the auction campaign and final result.

“REINSW will always continue to lobby in favour of the best interest of the consumer. Unfortunately, this time, our insight and experience in the property services industry was not seen as valuable.”

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