EAC Agreements and the Cooling Off Period

4 Mar 2015

In late 2014 in the the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Miscellaneous) Regulation 2014 a minor change was made to cooling-off statements.

With this change NSW Fair Trading replaced the term ‘principal’ with ‘vendor’ in the cooling-off period statement in the agency agreements for the sale of residential property and for the sale of rural land.

In a communication on the 27 February 2015 NSW Fair Trading stated that this change was made following industry consultation. EAC was in communication with Fair Trading throughout the review of the Regulations and made several submissions in regards to proposed changes but the change to the cooling-off period was never discussed at any time during the process.

We have discussed the issue with NSW Fair Trading and the response is below:

“As discussed, the minor change to the agency agreement in Schedule 8 of the Property , Stock and Business Agents Regulation 2014 was a made to ensure consistency with the terminology in other parts of the Regulation.

In regard to the use of existing stock of agency agreements, please note the following information:

1. Until such time as the existing stock of agency agreements have been used up, hand-written amendments could be made to strike out the word ‘principal’ and insert the word ‘vendor’ with both parties initialling the change.
2. Under Section 80 of the Interpretation Act , strict compliance with prescribed forms is not necessary – substantial compliance is sufficient.

Please call me if you need further information.”

Warren McAllister
A/Manager, Policy
NSW Fair Trading

We have advised Fair Trading that option 1 is not practical and that we will be proceeding under option 2 to ensure that the use of the term Principal remains consistent with the details that appear at the top of the agency agreement.

So in short are EAC forms compliant? Yes they are!

Members may call our Practice Support Helpline for more information.

2 March 2015

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