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Published on February 21st, 2013

REIWA up in arms over proposed laws

The Real Estate Institute of Western Australia (REIWA) has come out swinging against proposed federal legislation and existing state laws.

Dubbing it "absurd", REIWA president David Airey said that the anticipated Gillard laws would seek to overturn Western Australia legislation, which requires a commercial real estate agent to hold a license.

He explained: "We have the extraordinary situation whereby on Monday of this week, a commercial salesman was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay costs by the Perth Magistrates Court for selling properties without a current certificate of registration, but Canberra is still pressing ahead to make this situation legal."

Mr Airey elaborated by saying that the agent in question had sold or leased a number of properties for an agency, despite holding an expired license. The president said that he altered the date on the license to make it appear as if the certificate was still legal.

The REIWA president added that standards must be upheld, which is what the Perth's Department of Commerce did in prosecuting the agent.

"Failure to hold or maintain a licence as a practicing agent must not be tolerated because it's bad for the profession and makes consumers vulnerable," Mr Airey said.

Gary Newcombe, acting commissioner for consumer protection, explained that a real estate industry needs a reliable set of guidelines – a practice that includes a license for all property agents.

Stringent training is required for agents looking to obtain and maintain a licence.

The president is adamant that a proper system of rules will ensure that both the customer and the agent are protected.

He explained that these laws will ensure that professional standards are lowered if mandatory licensing is removed from the picture, and commercial agents and sales reps are not subjected to training.


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