The Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) will be repealed from 1 December 2014 and replaced by four different, industry-specific Acts. These Acts being:
- Property Occupations Act 2014
- Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act 2014
- Debt Collectors (Field Agent and Collection Agents) Act 2014
- Agents Financial Administration Act 2014
The purported purpose of this is to simplify requirements and reduce red tape for business. This article looks at what these changes mean in practice.
There are four main categories of people affected by the changes:
- Property agents
- Motor dealers
- Debt collectors and process servers (commercial agents)
One example of the changes these new Acts will bring is that it will no longer be necessary to display a license at the place of business or a sign with the name and status as a licensee. However, it will still be a requirement to show a license/registration to any client who requests to see it. You will also no longer be required to keep an employment register.
A summary of the key changes for main professions affected by the reforms are outlined below.
Whether a licence is needed will depend on the agent’s “classification”. For example, property developers will not need a licence, but auctioneers will need an auctioneer licence under the Property Occupations Act to hold real property auctions.
Change of Categories
Another key change is the removal of “trainee auctioneer” as a category of registration. Under the new Acts, mainly the Property Occupations Act and the Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act auctioneers will need a full license to conduct an auction. If you are currently a trainee registration holder then you will be transitioned to hold conditional licenses under the relevant Act.
The 7 forms that currently exist to appoint a property agent will be replaced by 1 form and an end date will not be required for a continuing appointment.
Other key changes
Other key changes include:
- Agents will be able to negotiate any commission with their clients
- Agents will not need to disclose to the buyer how much commission they receive from the seller
- Separate warning statements will not need to be attached to a residential property contract, instead a clear and obvious prescribed statement must be included in the contract
- Agents will be able to charge commission if they have a beneficial interest in the sale, but the seller must know about the interest and sign a form confirming they understand and agree to the sale
- A lawyer’s certificate will no longer be required for a buyer to waive/reduce their cooling-off period
- Agents for an auction of residential property will be able to say that a reserve price exists but must not disclose the reserve price
Motor dealers and chattel auctioneers
Under the Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act auctioneers will need a chattel auctioneer licence to auction vehicles or other goods, including live stock.
It will not be necessary to state an end date in a continuing appointment.
Operating requirements will be less complex with the Government planning to reduce the number of forms for motor vehicle transactions. It will no longer be necessary to give an approved form for unwarranted vehicles.
For chattel auctioneers, it will no longer be a requirement to get a referee from their client prior to paying out the proceeds of the auction.
Debt collectors (commercial agents)
To collect debts, repossess and process serve face-to-face debt collectors will need to be licensed as field agents. However, if they are only going to collect debts by phone or in writing then they will be considered collection agents and no license is required.
Process servers will only need to be appointed in writing under the new laws.
If your industry will be affected by these reforms then you should familiarise yourself with the changes so you are prepared come December. This is especially relevant for the new forms, which you should begin to use from 1 December.
For a full outline of the changes you can expect from 1 December go to http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/about- us/consultation-regulatory-reform/upcoming-changes-property-motor-auctioneer-debt-collectors/pamda-split and for links to the new forms go to http://www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au/about-us/consultation-regulatory-reform/upcoming- changes-property-motor-auctioneer-debt-collectors/new-forms-PAMDA.
You can also find an online version of the information sessions held by Fair Trading QLD on the changes by visiting their YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/FairTradingQLD).