The Office of Fair Trading have sent out a circular to advise the world that the Real Estate reform bill has passed through the Legislative Assembly. This probably means nothing to the layperson so to assist you; we’ll explain the process!

There are two houses of parliament in New South Wales; the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. The Legislative Assembly is the lower house where the Premier sits. The upper house is like the Senate in Canberra.

When amendments are being suggested by the Government, they are introduced at Parliament and referred to as a bill. For a bill to then become an act, the bill must be passed by both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council. For a bill to pass through a house, a majority of the members must vote in favour.

All the Fair Trading circular means is that the lower house has approved the new bill. We now wait for the upper house to debate and then vote on the bill. We understand this is to occur in the week commencing 6 March 2018.

This is not all. To make the bill happen, the government will have to publish some new regulations and a qualification order. When these regulations and orders are drafted, the Government will need to publish a regulatory statement for all of us to see the new regulations. We will be given a short term to comment on these regulations. Once the consultation is completed, the government can put the regulations to the Governor for approval.

At the final stage, the New South Wales Governor will sign off on the bill and the regulations. This will probably be just before its about to commence.

From a legislative position, the government is almost there. The bill will come into to fruition at some time in early March. The regulations are most probably already drafted and will be published soon after. The Government will be in a position to commence the legislation somewhere in the middle of the year. Those who are looking for a start date, no one knows. All we can refer you to is the Department of Services website which indicates, in their Frequently Asked Questions, that the target date is the middle of the year. I think this means, the 1st of July 2018.

This means we are about five months away from the changes coming into force. Is your team prepared for what is about to happen? Have you got your licensing in order? Are you compliant? These questions can be answered by coming to a Leverage Academy CPD course. Leverage has written its own booklet on the new bill and its available at our CPD courses.

This article was written by Bailey Compton, Principal Solicitor & Director at Leverage Group.

To get in touch with Bailey, please email info@leveragegroup.com.