ARAMA Report

New property legislation serves all stakeholders

The new separate Property Occupations Bill that has been released for its final round of consultation reinforces the state government’s commitment to cut business red tape and continues the progressive modernisation of our density living legislation.

The bill provides a significant step forward in the layout of the new legislation with matters relevant to resident letting agents contained mainly in Part 4 along with general licensing requirements in Part 2.  This makes the legislation much easier to read compared to the old complex Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act, especially as the bill provides a clear focus on density living buildings and therefore removes to other distinct legislation that involved 23 licences and registration classes across the other six licence categories contained in the PAMD Act.

It has been important for ARAMA and the other stakeholders that have been involved in the review process in working through the principles of the legislation so that there are genuinely no surprises. The outcomes are important for the management rights industry and structure, in particular, that as resident letting agents our responsibilities and rights are clearly defined.

While most of the legislation content does not seem to have changed radically apart from the sequence of the presentation there is a recognition of the 21st century lifestyle and the needs of managers to have clear legislative guidelines in which to operate. The government has committed significant time and effort in developing the legislation to allow resident managers to manage the day-to-day challenges that face the operations of complexes and the rights of those who occupy the complexes, either as owners, short and long term tenants or holiday makers and tourists.

The new forms are far more straight forward and easy to follow and there is greater clarity in terms of conditions and commissions that will help eliminate disputes.

We at ARAMA have been involved in regular consultation meetings with the Department of Fair Trading and the Attorney-General’s Department. In addition, with the new legislation coming on stream, the ARAMA leadership team have in place a new five-year strategic implementation plan to ensure that the association professionally continues to support its members in Queensland and nationally.

The new legislation will help make a significant contribution to the management rights industry at all levels. As indicated in last month’s Resort News, ARAMA’s leadership team representatives along with our key corporate sponsors will be moving through the state to roll out new operational strategies that will benefit operations, better manage costs and continue to add capital value to owners’ assets.

As a growth industry we believe that we can offer all our stakeholders ongoing improvements in service delivery, operational efficiency and better performance and accountability through the commitment to professional development.

In looking at the new legislation, which is still open for review until March 11, we note that the attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie has clearly stated that the government’s intention is that “our goal with this review is to deliver positive red tape reduction reforms that support industry growth but also maintain a high level of protection for consumers”.

We believe that the deregulation of commission is a positive move and should remove some of the niggles about how commission is expressed.

After all, the bottom line is what should matter to the owner. 

For continuing appointments, commission is expressed in percentages only and that meaningless range of dollar values is no longer needed.

In our opinion that was a victory for common sense.

While the contiguous boundary section has not changed although an alternative of allowing secondary complexes within a radius of, say, 500m was discussed, we believe that this issue remains important as more density living is introduced into suburban precincts and can be managed efficiently through consolidation of services.

Legislation is dynamic and I am sure this issue will continue to be reviewed.

The appointment to act as an agent will still be in a prescribed form. While there were discussions about the appointment just having to satisfy the requirements of the act that leads to an imaginative variety of form designs, our firm opinion is that a prescribed form is better received by owners and it removes any suggestion of bias by the RLA from the equation.

We have noted that Section 118 does appear to be different and implies that both partners (if the management rights are owned by a partnership) or each director (if a company) no longer need to be licensed, provided one person is licensed.

Finally, one of the more significant features is that the minister has joined some other states and ignored national licensing implications. National licensing has lost its way for property and in its present form only creates unnecessary confusion.  

We believe the eventually NOLS will either have automatic mutual recognition where a licence holder can act anywhere but must observe the rules in the jurisdiction where the transaction takes place or the status quo will be maintained.

We look forward to the final review and the parliamentary debates when the reform bill is introduced into the parliament.

This is a positive outcome in progressing the economic recovery and real growth for Queensland as more and more people will benefit from the outcomes of the legislation and its protection.

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