An article of Strata Community Australia (Qld) contributed
Carlson, Senior Associate at Thynne + Macartney which gives
guidance to stakeholders in the strata industry on the impact of
the new Property Occupations Act in Queensland.
Effective from today, 1 December 2014, the Property Agents
and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) has been
replaced by new legislation. This may impact schemes where the
building manager conducts a letting business. The conduct of that
letting business will now be regulated by new legislation called
the Property Occupations Act 2014.One of the reasons for
this change was to simplify and reduce the level of red tape and
regulation the PAMDA imposed on the conduct of letting businesses.
The Property Occupations Act will relax a few rules, such
When a resident letting agent applies for a licence, they will
no longer have to show evidence of body corporate approval.
A resident letting agent can now conduct a letting business for
more than one scheme.
A resident letting agent is no longer required to reside
on-site as a condition of the licence.
Will the building manager still require body corporate approval
to conduct a letting business?
This will depend on each scheme's circumstances. Ultimately,
an exclusive authority to conduct a letting business from scheme
land will remain valuable to building managers, so this should not
cause any material change to how management rights operate.
Management of more than one complex
Under the PAMDA, building managers could do this if they had an
open real estate agent's licence (rather than a resident
letting agent's licence), so the relaxation should not cause
any material change to how management rights operate.
In any event, the letting agreement between the body corporate
and the building manager will continue to govern how a letting
business may be conducted from the scheme. Some agreements restrict
the building manager from conducting a letting business from other
schemes, some permit them to conduct a business from other schemes,
and others are silent on this issue.
Ultimately, the building manager remains contractually bound to
perform their obligations under the letting agreement and must
continue to provide the letting services to a standard consistent
with the codes of conduct irrespective of the number of complexes
Requirement to reside on-site
This has been removed to provide greater flexibility for the
business practices of building managers who hold a resident letting
agent's licence. It will not change what the letting agreement
with the body corporate requires.
Many letting agreements require the building manager to reside
on-site and conduct the letting agent business from the management
unit or a reception area. Unless the body corporate agrees to vary
the letting agreement to remove these types of requirements, they
will continue to apply.
Suggestions for members
Members should inform their committees these legislative changes
will not affect the contractual arrangements they have with the
building manager. As each letting agreement is different, you
should encourage any concerned committees to seek independent legal
advice so their particular circumstances can be consiered.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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