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Auctioneers and real estate agents

Background
Legislation
Property Agents Board
Property Agents Tribunal
 
Background

The Property Agents and Land Transaction Act 2005 (the Act) regulates the auctioneers and real estate industry in Tasmania. 

The Act repealed the Auctioneers and Real Estate Agents Act 1991

Part 10 of the Act is not yet proclaimed.  Part 10 relates to vendor disclosure and cooling-off periods.

The Act was drafted in response to a review, commencing in 1999, recommending that much of the existing regulation could no longer be justified in terms of National Competition Policy.

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Legislation

Under the Act ‘property agent’ refers to a real estate agent, a property manager, a general auctioneer, an assistant property manager or a property consultant.

The Property Agents and Land Transactions Act:

  • regulates the auctioneers and real estate industry through a Board which is responsible for maintaining a register to ensure that only people who have the appropriate prerequisites act as property agents
  • requires the registration of real estate agents, property managers and auctioneers, registration being subject to competency based qualifications
  • requires employees, functioning as property consultants, to have the prescribed qualifications and to advertise their intention to work as a property consultant
  • allows real estate agents to enter into multi-disciplinary partnerships
  • allows an owner of real estate to auction his or her own property
  • establishes the Property Agents Board that has equal membership of industry and non-industry representatives and an independent Chair
  • provides clear complaint, investigation and enforcement processes to guide the Board;
  • establishes a Tribunal which will deal with serious complaints and disciplinary matters
  • addresses issues such as false advertising and vendor bidding.
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Property Agents Board

The Property Agents Board replaces the Auctioneers and Real Estate Council of Tasmania. Two of the five Board members represent the real estate industry and two represent the interests of consumers. The Chair of the Board is a legal practitioner.

The Board operates for the protection of the public, to ensure acceptable standards of conduct by auctioneers, real estate agents and property managers and people engaged by auctioneers, real estate agents and property managers.

The Act states that the Board’s duties are to:

  • maintain a Register (of real estate agents, property managers and general auctioneers) in accordance with the Act to ensure that only people who have the necessary experience and qualifications to do so, and are not otherwise unfit to do so, are permitted to act as property agents
  • administer the approval of qualifications held by people to ensure that only those that have the prescribed qualifications to do so, and are not otherwise unfit to do so, are permitted to act as property agents
  • ensure that property agents comply with the requirements of this Act relating to their conduct in carrying on their businesses or in carrying out their functions and, where they fail to do so, to take appropriate disciplinary action to protect the public and to discourage such conduct
  • ensure that people who are not permitted under this Act to do so do not act as property agents
  • develop and ensure compliance with a Code of Conduct for property agents
  • receive, investigate and determine complaints against property agents
  • supervise the trust accounts of real estate agents named in Part 1(1) of the Register, property managers named in Part 2(1) of the Register and general auctioneers named in Part 3 of the Register
  • advise property agents on appropriate standards of conduct
  • monitor, identify and report to the Minister trends and issues that emerge within the property agents industry; and
    to carry out educational functions in relation to the property agents industry
  • advise the Minister on matters relating to this Act including its efficacy and on any other matters relevant to the Board's functions or to the property agents industry
  • carry out any other function imposed on the Board by this or any other Act.
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Property Agents Tribunal

Established in 2007, the Property Agents Tribunal hears and determines complaints referred to it by the Board and appeals relating to contested Board decisions.

The Tribunal Panel consists of:

  • 5 property agents, appointed from a list of persons nominated by the body that the Minister is satisfied represents the views of the majority of property agents;
  • 5 persons who represent the interests of consumers; and 
  • The President of the Tribunal who is a legal practitioner of at least 5 years’ standing with legal experience in areas of law relevant to the position.