What are some of the things NSW Fair Trading look for when they do on the spot checks?
NSW Fair Trading are the regulatory authority for real estate in NSW. As such, they have the authority to audit real estate businesses on the spot.
In some cases, inspections may cover general compliance issues. One key compliance issue is whether all relevant agency staff that require registration to work in the industry hold a current registration or licence. The agency principal should ensure that all staff renew their registration on or before it falls due.
Fair Trading will also usually audit whether staff in the agency have complied with the requirement to complete mandatory CPD training each year. Fair Trading can ask to see documentary proof that each registration or licence holder working in the business has completed the required number of hours of CPD training prior to renewing their registration or licence.
NSW Fair Trading spot inspections often also cover Supervision Requirements for agency licensees, such as whether the required checklists are being used in the agency, for example in sales files, and when dealing with trust funds; and whether there is an agency complaints log and complaints handling process in place in the agency.
Of course, there are also checks to ensure that the agent’s trust account has been properly audited.
NSW Fair Trading also often initiate specific compliance task forces to investigate problematic agent behaviour, such as underquoting or collusive practices in auctions.
In 2018, a targeted audit of 24 real estate premises in Sydney’s west has found more than 75 per cent are failing to comply with NSW Fair Trading legislation.
Have all your staff completed their CPD prior to renewal of their Certificates or Licence? RETS delivers 12 point CPD online – click here for further information