NSW REAL ESTATE LICENSE REFORMS

Leverage invited to Closed Session OFT Briefing

At the invitation of the NSW Office of Fair Trading, Leverage Academy attended a closed session briefing on Wednesday (20/6/2018), for an update on the Real Estate reform legislation, including the likely timing of the new Act coming into force.

The OFT re-confirmed many of the principal aspects of the reform legislation, covering-off on;
• the re-classification of classes of agents,
• CPD reforms,
• the abolition of certain existing categories of licence (eg. Buyer’s Agent), and;
• the transitional arrangements for existing licence holders (as well as those holding Certificates of Registration).

It should be noted however that although the new Act has been passed by Parliament, the Regulations and related Ministerial Directions (which typically contain much of the operational and transactional detail) have yet to be comprehensively decided and fully settled. In other words, the details of yesterday’s OFT briefing are not “set-in-stone” and may well be re-visited before the introduction of this reform legislation.

In regard to holders of Certificates of Registration (COR), to be know in the new regime as “Assistant Agent – Class 3”, they will receive a one-off 4 year authorisation, on their next renewal and will need to have obtained their Certificate IV qualification, before the expiration of the 4 year period.

For those agents that are currently licensed, on the renewal of their licence, they will be given an opportunity to either renew as an agent (ie. “Agent – Class 2”) or apply for the new licence category, being “Agent – Class 1”). The full criteria for approval by the OFT, to obtain a Class 1 Licence, has not yet been settled, and will be subject to the yet-to-be-completed Regulations and Ministerial Directions.

In our forthcoming newsletter, we’ll provide more details on the new CPD program that the reform legislation will usher in, including how it will impact on Assistant Agents – Class 3, Agents – Class 2 and Licensee in Charge – Class 1 Agents.

The draft timetable offered by the OFT at the briefing, noted that there would be continued industry consultation in respect of the Regulations, up to and including September this year, which is when the new National Training Framework is also foreshadowed to be completed.

As for a concrete date for the implementation of the substantive provisions of the new Act, the original dates put forward some time ago by the OFT, of July 2018 and then October/November 2018, have all been vacated, until there is more clarity around the arrival of the Regulations.

Further details of the OFT briefing will be provided in forthcoming editions of this newsletter.

Leverage is committed to remaining the front-runner in keeping the real estate sector updated with all the news coming out of the NSW Office of Fair Trading, the NSW Parliament, and the Minister’s Office, in relation to the reform legislation.