The EAC Legal Helpline is a valuable resource for our members, providing guidance on all property-related compliance matters, as well as advice on sales and property management.
For the benefit of our members, we’ve summarised the most common and interesting queries we receive through our helpline, which is supported by our legal partner, McLachlan Thorpe Partners. These summaries can be found below:
Sharing Commission with Referrers
Query: Can agents share their commission with referrers?
Advice: Our legal partner advises that it’s against the law for a licensed agent to share a portion of the sale commission with an unlicensed person, including referral services and vendor advocates.
Termination of Tenancy Agreement
Query: If a tenant has been given 90 days’ notice and they haven’t paid rent since, can the tenancy agreement be terminated for non-payment of rent?
Advice: Yes, the tenant is in breach of the lease. You can follow the standard procedures and issue the tenant with a notice of breach, giving them the required time to remedy the situation. This isn’t affected by the 90-day notice, as it’s a separate matter.
Query: Both the tenant and landlord signed a new fixed-term agreement before the current one expired, but the tenant now wants to terminate it. Is this possible?
Advice: Technically, no. Even though the rental period hasn’t started, the agreement has been validly entered into by both parties, and both are bound by their obligations. If both parties agree to terminate, a simple written deed can be drawn up to outline the terms, including any potential break fees.
Sale of Business: Assignment of Agency Agreement
Query: An agent wishes to understand what happens when a business is sold and is in the process of closing down. Specifically, they are seeking clarification on whether exclusive agency agreements for listings will remain with them or be transferred to the new business.
Advice: The possibility of this depends on whether the agency agreements were associated with the agent’s license or the business license. If the license is linked to the business, then those agreements will stay if the license is transferred to the new company or entity, just as they would be in a regular sale of a business.
Guidelines on Supervision of Business
Our helpline has received multiple inquiries from members seeking a standard template for the Supervision Guidelines. According to our legal partner, these guidelines are a requirement under section 32 of the act and are specific to how businesses ensure proper supervision to comply with legislation.
EAC has summarised the Business Supervision Guidelines in our blog and newsletter, so our members can get an overview of the legislation’s requirements.
We have also collaborated with our training partner to provide our members with a special discounted offer on templates for Supervision Guidelines and Policy & Procedures.