Supervision of Employees Carrying on Letting in NSW

The Property, Stock and Business Agents Act requires that all letting businesses be effectively controlled and supervised by a licensed agent.

Proper supervision is vital, particularly where trust accounts are involved. Proper supervision also helps promote ethical conduct in employees.

Licensees in charge – Each place of business (your on-site office) must be in the charge of a licensee, who is responsible for the proper supervision of the business carried on there and for the actions of all employees.

An individual licensee is responsible for the supervision of their own place of business. A licensee who has more than one place of business must employ a licensee to be the person in charge at each other place of business. A corporation that holds a corporation licence must employ licensees to be in charge of each of the corporation’s places of business.

A licensee-in-charge of a place of business must hold a licence in the category relevant to the type of business carried on there. For example, a person in charge of a real estate agency business must hold a real estate agent’s licence. A residential property manager who is carrying on letting only in a building will require an on-site residential property manager’s licence. This licence will have to be upgraded to a full real estate agent’s licence if the manager also wants to conduct sales in the building or conduct lettings outside the building.

Supervision requirements – A licensee is responsible for the supervision of their business. The licensee who owns the business also remains accountable for the actions of employees. Proper supervision entails:

• supervision of employees engaged in the business,
• establishment of procedures designed to ensure that the provisions of the act and regulation and other relevant laws are complied with, and
• monitoring the conduct of the business to ensure that those procedures are followed.

These requirements reflect the view that qualified supervision is paramount in the handling of money placed in trust accounts. The requirement also acknowledges the particular need in this industry for guidance of employees in procedural matters and ethical conduct.

The act adds further to the responsibilities of licensees by requiring that a licensee notify the director general as soon as any failure to account for trust money is identified.

Employees – Licensees are prohibited from employing people who are disqualified from holding a licence or certificate of registration or who have had their application for a licence or certificate refused on the basis that are not a ‘fit and proper’ person to work in the industry. A person cannot be employed if their licence or certificate is suspended or cancelled.

A certificate of registration holder is required to be employed by a licensee in order to carry on any of the work of a registered manager.

All letting work by a certificate of registration holder must be done under the supervision of the licensee in charge of the place of business at which the certificate holder is employed. The licensee must hold a licence in the category relevant to the work carried out by the employee.

Col Myers
Small Myers Hughes

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