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Support with underquoting laws, comment on home building insurance & more  

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February 2016 

With underquoting laws now underway, we’re urging agencies to check that their advertising for residential property is up-to-date. Also, understand how the new requirements apply when collectively marketing multi-unit residential property and multi-lot subdivisions.

Valuers, land lease community operators and strata managers should read on for updates relevant to their industries. Finally, have your say about our website and on the future of home building insurance before these public consultations close this month. 

 

Keeping your advertisements up-to-date

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While making sure all new ads are compliant, real estate agents should ensure that any 2015 listings have been updated if they are advertising residential property still on the market in 2016. 

For example, online advertising placed last year for residential property currently on the market must be updated consistent with the new requirements.

This means the ad should display a price that is not less than the property’s current estimated selling price. The ad also must not include any banned statements such as “offers above”, “offers over”, or “plus” (+) with a price or price range.

Refresh yourself on the details with our Questions and answers about underquoting for agents.
 

Multi-unit residential property & multi-lot subdivisions

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When collectively marketing multiple units in a new development and multi-lot subdivisions if you choose to include price information in advertising, you must include the following: the estimated selling prices for the lowest and highest priced properties in each category of unit (eg. studio, one bedroom, two bedroom etc.).

For details, read the response to How can I market multi-unit residential property and multi-lot subdivisions?

Or, you may choose not to advertise any price information. Potential buyers can simply be advised to contact the agent for further information. 

If you are an agent for the collective sale of multiple residential units or multi-lot subdivisions, you should also read How should I record estimated selling prices for multi-unit/lot property?

 

Agents' essential guide to the new laws

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Information about marketing multi-unit residential property and multi-lot subdivisions has now been added to our convenient publication for agents: Underquoting guidelines for residential property. Making sure your employees are familiar with this document will help your agency to fulfill its obligations and avoid breaching the laws. 

 

Loose-fill asbestos in residential premises

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The NSW Government is assisting homeowners and tenants of properties that may be affected by loose-fill asbestos, which to date has been identified in 28 NSW local government areas. There are a number of obligations imposed on real estate agents by law in relation to asbestos located in properties that agents are engaged to manage or sell. Visit the Loose-fill asbestos insulation section of our website for more information.

We are also running a series of information sessions for real estate agents regarding loose-fill asbestos. Use our events calendar to check for upcoming sessions and to register. You can also subscribe to our Loose-fill asbestos enews for updates. You may wish to encourage your clients in the affected areas to attend the public meetings to inform them on this issue.
 

Registration ceasing for valuers

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From 1 March 2016, registration of valuers in NSW will cease. This will happen with the repeal of the Valuers Act 2003

Ending registration for valuers follows the recommendation of the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal report - Reforming licensing in NSW. The change brings NSW in line with most other Australian states and territories. For more information, and to find out about part refunds of registration fees, visit our Property valuers page. 

 

Order copies of Moving into a land lease community?  

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Operators of residential land lease communities (previously called 'residential parks') can now order bulk copies of the brochure ‘Moving into a land lease community?’ [PDF size: 216kb]. Operators must give this document to all prospective land lease community residents under the new laws that started 1 November 2015. To view and download all the prescribed forms and mandatory publications for land lease communities, visit the Forms section of our website. 

 

NBN Fire Alarm Panel & Lift Phone Register

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The nbn™ network is replacing most landline phone and internet networks across Australia. A Fire and Lift Register has been set up to identify fire indicator panel and emergency lift phone services that need assistance to migrate, before the existing networks are switched off. Otherwise, these important services may be disconnected and stop working.

Building owners or strata / building / site managers responsible for ensuring fire indicator panels and emergency lift phone services remain operable should visit the nbn website to register their building online. 

 

Upcoming events

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Our free information seminars are back! Register for a session to gain expert information from a Fair Trading specialist presenter - it will make carrying out your obligations much easier! You can also earn CPD points. 

Industry professionals in the following areas should book now for the session relevant to them:   

  • Real estate agents - 17 February in Merimbula
  • Real estate agents - 9 March in Wamberal
  • Residential strata schemes - 9 March in Wamberal.

Other events 
Industry bodies also run a range of professional courses:  

 

Check your inbox to know it's time to renew your licence or certificate

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Fair Trading is now sending out most renewal notices for property related licences by email.  

If you are a licence or certificate holder and our licence records include a valid email address, you will be sent by email:

  • your renewal notice
  • your new or renewed licence or certificate.

If your licence record does not include a valid email address, your renewal notice will be sent to the postal address in our licence records.

Emails will come from the account: donotreply@fairtrading.nsw.gov.au (please check your Junk or Spam folders in case the emails are filtered by your email service provider).

If your licence records include a mobile phone number, an SMS will also be sent to remind you when to renew your licence or certificate. You will receive a link to apply for renewal directly on your smartphone. This service is not available for corporation licence holders.

Remember, you will still need to answer all questions accurately and comply with your disclosure obligations as part of the renewal process.    

To update the contact details that are linked to your licence or certificate record, please download the relevant change of address form from our Property services forms page and email your completed form to LB@finance.nsw.gov.au

 

Don't miss out - your say on the future of home building insurance 

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You may have heard that home building insurance in NSW is under review – now is the time to have your say on the proposed reforms and help shape the future of the Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF, formerly known as Home Warranty Insurance).  

Take a few minutes to complete our multiple-choice online survey, which includes a summary of the changes under consideration. You can find out more about the reform options in our Discussion Paper, on the Fair Trading website. You can comment on all of the questions or issues in the survey, or just those parts which are of importance to you. You can also make additional comments or submissions by emailing us at HBCFreform@finance.nsw.gov.au

About the HBCF:

  • The HBCF provides last-resort cover for people building or renovating a home (over $20,000) in the event their builder or contractor cannot complete the work or defective work due to insolvency, death, disappearance or licence suspension for failure to comply with a court or tribunal money order.
  • The NSW Government is currently the sole provider of HBCF insurance, managing the product through private insurers and brokers (marketed under the name icare™ hbcf).
  • By law, contractors must purchase insurance for any residential building work project valued at over $20,000, except for construction of multi-unit buildings more than three storeys high, and some other exceptions. 
 

What do you think of our website? Tell us by 14 February

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Here is your chance to tell us what you think about our website through a short survey.

Your responses will be used to better understand your needs and expectations of the Fair Trading website and will help us to improve your online experience.

Take our survey before 14 February 2016!

Ahead of our larger project to improve our overall website, we will also be refreshing content in our 'Property managers and agents' section of our website to make it quicker and easier for you to find key information relevant to your profession. We will update you in upcoming editions on this development. 

 
fairtrading.nsw.gov.au