“Without REINSW’s consistent and focused lobbying over more than a decade, it’s unlikely this reform package would have come about – and certainly it wouldn’t have been as comprehensive as it is.” - Tim McKibbin, REINSW CEO
Agency practice reforms
In addition to changes to the training framework, there are also reforms aimed at improving conduct, raising professional standards and enhancing transparency and accountability.
Some greater clarity about the kinds of material facts that an agent must disclose is provided. Agents will be required to disclose whether:
- The property has been subject to flooding (due to a natural weather event) or bush fire in the last five years
- The property has been the scene of a serious indictable offence in the last five years
- The property has been the scene of a drug offence in the last two years
- A person has committed suicide in the property in the last five years
- The property poses a serious health or safety risk
- The property is listed on the loose-fill asbestos insulation register
- The property is listed on the external combustible cladding register.
Agencies will now be required to establish separate trust accounts for sales and rental monies.
All rental monies received on behalf of the landlord under a Residential Tenancy Agreement must be paid out at the end of each calendar month, less any authorised expenses and unless otherwise instructed by the landlord.
Gifts and benefits
Agents will not be able to receive any gift or benefit worth more than $60 in circumstances that may be considered a conflict of interest. This will not apply if the gift or benefit is given in gratitude for services provided under the Agency Agreement.
Whether you’re a newcomer to the industry or an experienced agent, reforms to the real estate training framework will change the way you operate.
From March 2020, both new entrants to the real estate industry and current Certificate of Registration holders will be known as Assistant Agents.
Entry-level training requirements and CPD obligations will change, and the tasks and obligations able to be carried out will reduce.
Importantly, it will no longer be an option to hold a Certificate of Registration for your entire career. All Certificate of Registration holders will be required to transition to a Real Estate Licence within four years.
Learn more about the NEW REINSW Assistant Agent Course
Licensed Agent (Class 2)
From March 2020, current Real Estate Licence holders will be grandfathered to the new Licensed Agent (Class 2) category.
Annual CPD requirements will change, as will some of the duties able to be carried out. A minimum of 12 months’ experience as a Certificate of Registration holder will be required before applying to become a Licensed Agent (Class 2).
Licensed Agent (Class 1)
Anyone who is a Licensee-in-charge as at March 2020, will be grandfathered to the new Licensed Agent (Class 1) category.
The duties and responsibilities of a Licensee-in-charge will not change, however it’s important to note that moving forward they will be the only agents permitted to authorise trust account disbursements.
Importantly, Licensees-in-charge will be required to undertake additional CPD each year to maintain their licence.