31st October, 2014.
Estate Agents Co-operative (EAC) has been shocked to learn of the potential damaging changes to the Victorian Estate Agents Act, and fully endorses and backs the Real Estate Institute of Victoria’s (REIV) fight to stop the changes from occurring.
In September, NSW Fair Trading concluded their consultation process where the same changes were requested by The Shopping Centre Council of Australia. The regulation review in NSW achieved a properly balanced result for property consumers and practitioners. “It is concerning to hear from Enzo Raimondo (CEO of REIV) that a similar process is not being followed and without parliamentary scrutiny,” said David Crombie, CEO of EAC. “Particularly because the Victorian Government had previously noted that these changes would not be part of the agenda.”
The changes sort by The Shopping Centre Council of Australian would have a devastating effect on Small Business owners. Geoff Hunter (Industry Liaison Officer – EAC) said “The commercial consumer is at risk. These changes would allow larger entities to operate outside of the regulatory environment, which in turn creates a huge financial risk for small business owners.”
The current Victorian Estate Agents Act provides safeguards; such as the mandatory use of trust accounts, access to REIV’s valuation and mediation processes and further quality assurance measures. These safeguards would be lost if the proposed changes were enacted.
“EAC fully endorses and backs the team at REIV in their fight to stop these changes from occurring,” said David Crombie. “Our Members are of course concerned that changes such as these could take place in other states, and we are committed to maintaining consumer protection and defending agency standards.”