New co-ops law launches in NSW and VIC

The 3rd March 2014 saw the commencement of the of Co-operatives National Law in New South Wales and Victoria which provides the national legislative framework for Co-operatives.

The new laws mean less red tape and reporting burden for smaller co-ops, and for all co-ops, the ability to trade across state borders without dual registration.

For more information read the update released by NSW Fair Trading

For more information about Co-operatives you can visit the Co-operatives and Associations page on the NSW Fair Trading site.

NSW Fair Trading introduces changes to the Residential Tenancies Condition Report

Real Estate offices may have received an email from NSW Fair Trading on 28 February regarding a New Condition report for residential tenancies. The prescribed report has been changed by the addition of ‘window safety devices’ wherever ‘windows/screens’ appears. This change is effective from 1 March 2014.

For those offices using EAC eForms the necessary changes have been made and the updated form is now available for use.

Printed Forms
If you are using EAC printed forms these forms may still be used BUT YOU MUST write in the additional words”/window safety devices” as outlined above.

So on the form wherever you see “windows/screens” you must change this to “windows/screens/window safety devices”

EAC_Condition _ReportThe example above shows the change to EAC’s Condition Report on our eForms system.

These changes do not impose any obligation on the landlord to install window safety devices if none exist.

EAC believe that the notice provided by Fair Trading of this change was inadequate and is seeking clarification from Fair Trading as to the practicality of these changes and the likely implications for leasing and managing agents and members will be informed as soon as this advice comes to hand.

EAC Members may direct any questions they have to our Helpline on 1300 137 161.

Estate Agents Co-operative introduces new cost effective CPD Workshops

Real Estate CPD Workshops

We have just released our CPD Workshop Calendar for the next 6 months which includes Property Management 2014 and Commercial and Retail Leasing and Management 2014 workshops. These workshops have been designed for agency principals and all property management staff.



These practical “hands on” sessions are  important for those who wish to update their skills in this area and who are looking at delivering client service that is second to none.

The workshops provide 12 CPD points and our early bird rates are as low as $135.00 for EAC Members which provides a significant saving over the rates charged by many other CPD providers.

Click here to view the CPD Workshop calendar for dates, locations and registration details.



National Licensing for the Real Estate Industry is not going to proceed

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) held its 36th meeting today in Canberra and it would appear as though National Licensing for our industry will not be proceeding.

In the Communique from the meeting it was stated:

“COAG noted that, following the outcome of extensive State-based consultation, the majority of States decided not to pursue the proposed National Occupational Licensing Scheme (NOLS) reform. Most jurisdictions identified a number of concerns with the proposed NOLS model and potential costs. States instead decided to investigate approaches that would increase labour mobility and deliver net benefits for businesses and governments.”

” To this end, States agreed to work together via the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) to develop alternative options for minimising licensing impediments to improving labour mobility and to manage the orderly disestablishment of the National Occupation Licensing Authority from early 2014.”

While EAC was in favour of National Licensing, we had stated that in the proposed form we did not believe it was in the best interest of the industry or consumers. We can now look forward to maintaining the educational standards and professionalism of the real estate occupations.

EAC Board meets with Member Principals from Northern Rivers

The EAC Board held its November Board Meeting in Ballina on Wednesday, 27 November followed by a meeting of Member Principals from the Northern Rivers. At the meeting the Chairman Dale Whittaker and CEO David Crombie updated the members on some of the initiatives the Co-operative is currently working on and other changes that are currently affecting the industry. Each of the Directors provided the members with an overview of the property market in their respective areas and in return the meeting provided the directors with an opportunity to obtain feedback directly from the members.

EAC Chairman Dale Whittaker and EAC CEO David Crombie presenting at Northern Rivers Members Meeting

EAC Chairman Dale Whittaker presenting at Northern Rivers Members Meeting

A lighthearted moment shared by EAC Board and EAC members

A lighthearted moment shared by EAC Board and EAC members

The EAC Board would like to thank all the members that attended.

NSW Fair Trading starts a new Tenancy Dispute Service


NSW Fair Trading has started a tenancy dispute service. The free voluntary service is said to provide a convenient alternative to having residential tenancy matters heard by the Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT).

The service starts on 1 December 2013 and NSW tenants, landlords and property managers can use the service to resolve selected residential tenancy disputes.

According to Fair Trading the service can be used to assist in resolving disputes to do with:

  • repairs and maintenance
  • non-urgent health and safety issues
  • alterations and additions
  • access to the premises including inspections
  • non-compliance with the tenancy agreement
  • water saving devices and smoke alarms
  • provisions of correct notices
  • ending a tenancy
  • breaking a lease, and
  • condition reports.

If the parties cannot agree to a resolution to a dispute, either party may lodge a claim with the CTTT.  All other residential tenancy matters not dealt with by Fair Trading will continue to be heard by the CTTT.

For more information about the free dispute resolution service, go to the Residential tenancy dispute page on the Fair Trading website or contact the Fair Trading hotline on 13 32 20.

Estate Agents Co-operative (EAC) Releases Updated Industry Portal

Estate Agents Co-operative (EAC) today announced the release of their much anticipated update to the industry owned and developed real estate property portal,

We have spent the best part of the last 12 months completely redeveloping the website and underlying systems to provide a platform that meets the evolving needs of both real estate agents and consumers alike, all the while being mindful of still being able to provide an extremely cost effective property online marketing alternative for our members and the Industry.

In addition to considerably improving the consumer experience, in the search and display of property listings, we have also taken substantial steps to assist agents who are looking for greater profile on the site to professionally market their office and personal brands.

Another core focus of the development team was to ensure that the site will now have a much greater search engine relevance through enhanced optimisation and marketing initiatives which will guarantee better overall visibility of

I feel that was always and still is all about providing a much needed industry alternative. I now feel more confident that our latest offering can indeed provide just that.

Take a look for yourself by visiting the site.


NSW homebuyers and property investors are most at risk from proposed changes to lower current industry standards, as suggested by the National Occupational Licensing Authority (NOLA) in its Decision Regulation Impact Statement – Proposal for National Licensing for Property Occupations (DRIS), the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) reveals in its official response to Government.

The proposal to reduce or remove the education and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for real estate agents will put consumers at greater risk from inadequately trained and under-qualified real estate agents.

Under the new proposal, consumers in NSW would lose the assurance offered by mandatory CPD – an ongoing education requirement that is designed to increase the knowledge and skills of those working in the real estate industry and ensure high professional standards are maintained.

“The proposal fails to take into account the importance of consumer protection and the integral role played by Continuing Professional Development in our ever changing industry.

“Buying a property is the biggest investment people make, and this should be undertaken only with the assistance of a fully qualified and knowledgeable agent.

Mandatory CPD was introduced in Western Australia in 2007 for licensees and in 2009 for sales representatives. As a result, the average number of written concerns or complaints raised by the public to the REIA of Western Australia dropped from 196 in 2009 to 58 in 2010, representing a 70% reduction.

A full copy of the Real Estate Institute of Australia’s official response to the DRIS proposal can be downloaded at

Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index – July 2013

Homebuyer confidence rebounded significantly in Australia over the past quarter on the back of improved consumer expectations of mortgage stress, according to the new Streets Ahead Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index (Index).

Based on a survey of 2,124 mortgage holders and 416 non-mortgage holders, homebuyer sentiments were measured using five components: the proportion of monthly income currently used to service debts, maximum loan to value ratio comfortable in borrowing, last 12 months repayment history, next 12 months repayment ability and whether it is a good time to buy a home.

The Index jumped from a record low of 93.4 in March 2013 to 100.1 at the end of July 2013 and indicated significant improvement in homeowners’ perceived ability to repay. The proportion of homeowners who expected financial hardship decreased over three months to July from 27% to 17%, and more than half were expecting to overpay.

First home buyers’ confidence also increased, up to 99.9 from 85.9 in March. Of first home buyers surveyed, 86% expected to be able to easily meet or overpay their mortgage repayments. The figure was markedly higher than its March 2013 level of 59%.

According to the Index, concerns over the federal election have been rising over the last six months, with the proportion of homeowners concerned how the election would impact them at 46% compared to 44% in March 2013 and 36% in December 2012.

The report found that over a third (37%) of surveyed prospective first home buyers believed a change of government would improve their ability to buy property, compared to 23% who believed a change would worsen it.

The importance of assistance to first home buyers from the government was noted with two in five of those surveyed reporting they would enter the market earlier if changes were introduced to further help first home buyers. The majority of prospective first home buyers (63%) agreed that the government should be doing more to help them afford a home.

Overall, housing affordability and the difficulty to save a deposit were the biggest barriers to home ownership among prospective first home buyers. According to the report, four in five surveyed non-property owners said they were unable to raise a 20% deposit for a $500,000 house. Unemployment was a major concern (47%) followed by rising cost of living (38%). A quarter of surveyed prospective first home buyers have not yet bought a property because they have not secured enough money for a deposit, while around one
in three reported they would enter the market earlier if they could secure enough money for a deposit, or did not need to save a deposit (34%).

Despite the increase illustrated in the Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index, the report found that 70 per cent of non-property owners and 65% of current homeowners considered the Australian dream of home ownership unrealistic.

Source: REIA News – August 2013