13 March 2019

Labor promises to remove property services from Fair Trading

In the lead up the 23 March election, REINSW has been running a vocal campaign calling for the appointment of a dedicated Commissioner for the Property Services Industry.

In what is clearly good news for the industry, Labor has written to REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin stating that it will place property services in the first instance within Property NSW if it forms Government this month. The NSW Building Authority would also be placed under the expanded Property NSW agency. 

Shadow Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Yasmin Catley, writing on behalf of Michael Daley, believes REINSW’s argument for a Commissioner for the Property Services Industry has merit. Ms Catley believes the move to a property focussed agency will improve the relationship with industry and Government while achieving economies of scale. 

REINSW CEO Tim McKibbin says: “We support NSW Labor’s policy to establish a Government agency that has the experience in, and understanding of, the property industry. Fair Trading’s regulatory competencies exist in the high-frequency, low-dollar value, minimal legal complexity transactions. Property transactions by comparison are low-frequency, high-dollar value and by their very nature inherently complex. A regulatory authority seeking to adequately support the property industry, must be well educated and experienced in the industry and be exclusively focused on it. 

“Consumers making home purchases in the hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars require specialist service providers and an experienced and competent regulatory authority that can maintain a regulatory environment for consumer protection. Expecting the same people at Fair Trading who represent consumers when buying a toaster or getting a haircut to then step up into complexities of a property transaction is ludicrous. A property transaction is a very serious undertaking, there is no room in the transaction for the ill-equipped, particularly the regulatory authority.

“The REINSW says a new Property Services Commissioner would provide a centralised overview of legislation and regulation that impacts residential, commercial, strata and rural property; support the drive to increase education and service delivery standards in the industries, and advise government on the best outcomes to remove legislative red tape and improve consumer protection across the industry.”

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