Professional Indemnity Insurance – Mandatory For All Licensees

The Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Professional Indemnity Insurance) Regulation 2012 was published on 14th December 2012.

This long anticipated legislation requires that all licensees must be insured under a policy of Professional Indemnity Insurance in force in respect to the licensee or the licensee’s employer.

All policies must be for a minimum cover of $1M for any one claim and not less than $3M in the aggregate for all claims during the period of insurance and provide cover for specified types of liabilities.

This new regulation commences on 1 January 2013 but will not take effect until 1 July 2013 in order to provide sufficient time for licensees to obtain suitable coverage. Licensees who hold an existing policy, issued before 1 January 2013, will have until 1 January 2014, or to the expiry date of that policy to ensure their existing policy complies with the regulation.

For enquiries as to how this applies to your business operations please call Geoff Hunter, EAC Industry Liaison Officer on 1300 137 161 or Bruce McCluskey, OAMPS Insurance Brokers on (02) 42268700.

New Swimming Pool Laws Will Affect Sales and Property Management

The Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012 was passed by both houses of the NSW Parliament on 23 October 2012.

This Act makes a number of significant changes to the Swimming Pool Act 1992 with consequential amendments to the Conveyancing (Sale of land) Regulation 2010 and the Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010.

For the sale of property it will be a requirement to have a valid certificate of compliance in respect of the pool or a relevant occupation certificate annexed to the contract of sale.

When leasing property a copy of the certificate must be provided to the new tenant. The Residential Tenancy Agreement will be amended to reflect this requirement.

A relevant occupation certificate is defined in the legislation as “an occupation certificate issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 that is less than 3 years old and that authorises the use of the swimming pool.”

Both the above requirements will come into force from 23 April 2014.

Other changes include:

  1. Local councils must, by no later than 23 April 2013, develop and adopt a programme for the inspection of swimming pools within its area.
  2. A Register of swimming pools is to be established and administered by the Director General.
  3. By no later than 23 October 2013 local councils must make provision for the initial and subsequent inspection of pools in accordance with their adopted plan.
  4. Swimming pool owners are required to register their pools with their local councils by no later than 23 April 2013.

Property managers should advise their clients who own pools of the requirement to register them by 23 April 2013 and then subsequently ensure that a valid Compliance or Occupation certificate is provided with each new tenancy agreement entered into from 23 April 2014.

Sales staff should also inform prospective vendors of the requirements, having regard to the relevant dates and also check with their solicitor or conveyancer regarding compliance with the provisions.

Click here to access the Swimming Pools Amendment Act 2012.

New videos from Fair Trading give useful real estate tips

Real estate agents and people interested in buying and selling property can now learn more about the industry thanks to a series of short videos on NSW Fair Trading’s YouTube channel.

The videos – produced by SKY Business Real Estate News for NSW Fair Trading – give independent real estate advice to agents and consumers.

The first six online videos cover the following topics:

Buying and selling real estate
What are the rules and regulations in NSW?

Renting out your investment property
Renting out your investment property to tenants

Real estate agents’ responsibilities to landlords
What are the agents’ duties under the law?

Real estate agents and trust accounts
What are the rules and regulations for trust accounts?

Buying and selling real estate at auctions
Tips for bidders and auctioneers before, during and after an auction

How to pick a good real estate agent
What are the agent’s responsibilities? How do you pick the right agent?

The videos feature interviews with Fair Trading experts. The segments were initially broadcast on the Real Estate News show on SKY Business Channel earlier this year.

For more information, visit the NSW Fair Trading website.

March 2008 Quarter NSW Market Update

It is impossible to escape the media’s seemingly unending coverage of the affect that interest rates and the current economic environment is having on the housing market. From a review of the Residential Sales in the March 2008 quarter, the figures that have been reported for NSW are as follows:

Houses Sales – 19210 3.4%
Unit Sales – 11303 (6.1%)
Land Sales – 2780 0.1%

The percentage figures indicate the Average % Change in Median Prices from last Quarter.

Figures and statistics are based on sales reported for the quarter as at 6th June 2008 and provided under licence from the Department of Lands NSW. Estate Agents Co-operative Ltd is authorised as a Sales Information Provider by the Department of Lands.

Based on real-time sales data from Red Square as reported by our agents the average days on market for Residential Dwellings during the quarter was 107 days compared to 96 days for the quarter ending December 2007.

Overall it appears that median prices have increased marginally in the sale of Houses but continue to decrease in the Unit market with volume of sales down significantly across the board. We foresee a further slowing of the market both in terms of prices being achieved and the volume of sales over the next six to twelve months. Indications to date for the quarter ending June 08 based on our real-time sales data show a further blow out in the number of days that residential properties are remaining on the market with our current statistics now showing an average of 113 days.

Our assumptions are also based on continued negative press regarding “mortgage stress” and housing affordability resulting in a lack of confidence in consumers that may be looking at entering the property market.

Buyers are extremely cautious due the above mentioned negative press and vendors because of their perception that they will not achieve the desired price for their property.

Across the state, the rental market is very tight with an almost zero vacancy rate as well as rents increasing continually with demand as strong as ever.