"COAG is now proposing that there will be no requirement for trust accounts or probity checks as commercial agents will not be required to have any qualifications or be licensed."
Removal of commercial real estate agent licence requirement outrageous and irresponsible
The REIV seeks the Victorian government to reject the current proposal to remove the educational, probity and licence requirements for commercial real estate agents.
Recent research conducted by UMR Research had shown that the public oppose the proposal, “it showed that 69% of respondents disagree with the COAG (Council of Australian Governments) proposal to remove the requirement for commercial agents to be licensed".
The public clearly understand that appropriate licensing and educational standards not only underpin the best outcome for those selling, buying or leasing property but also ensures consumer protection.
The RIS (regulation impact statement) proposes that licensing of commercial real estate agents is unnecessary because commercial and industrial property transactions are conducted by ‘sophisticated consumers and investors’, yet an analysis of transactions in Victoria shows that 51% of all commercial sales are valued at less than $500,000.
The vast majority of consumers who deal with commercial estate agents rightly expect to engage a professional with the appropriate educational qualifications.
Commercial estate agents hold significant amounts of client monies in their trust accounts subject to finalisation of a sales or leasing transaction, before being distributed to their client.
These trust accounts are audited on an annual basis in line with the requirements of the Estate Agents Act.
COAG is now proposing that there will be no requirement for trust accounts or probity checks as commercial agents will not be required to have any qualifications or be licensed – this is simply outrageous and irresponsible.
I would like COAG to explain to the public and the profession how the removal of licences will increase efficiency, improve worker mobility and assist in moving Australia to a seamless economy.
Enzo Raimondo is CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria.