New Real Estate Agents Authority will give consumers a better deal   17 Nov 2009

PROPERTY - A new independent Real Estate Agents Authority, which comes into force on Tuesday, will offer consumers a fairer, independent and more transparent process when making, for most, what will be the biggest investment of their lives, while also protecting the reputation of good, honest real estate agents.

Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove, who introduced and passed the new Act as Associate Minister of Justice last year, says the independent Real Estate Agents Authority will replace the former in-house complaints and discipline system to deal with complaints independently and effectively.

“The new Real Estate Agents Act replaced the outdated 1976 Act introducing a new regulatory framework for the real estate industry that aims to promote and protect the interests of consumers in real estate transactions by raising industry standards, improving licensing requirements and procedures and providing mandatory disclosure obligations.

”It creates an independent Disciplinary Tribunal to deal with serious cases, which will have the ability to order the cancellation of licences and award up to $100,000 in compensation,” Clayton Cosgrove says.

“Just over 12 months ago National MPs fought tooth and nail in an attempt to prevent the passing of this law. At the time National MPs stood up one after the other to voice their opposition to a new regime which would protect ordinary consumers when they seek to buy or sell their most expensive asset - their home.

They were obviously got to by the lobbyists. “Nathan Guy even had the audacity to criticise the bill as it would encourage consumers to make more complaints. As the Minister now in charge of this legislation, hopefully it has dawned on him that the purpose of the new Act is to give the public confidence that their complaints will be dealt with fairly and effectively.

“It is now a case of National eating humble pie as they have belatedly realised that the public deserve a fair go and good honest real estate agents are tired of being tarnished by the actions of a few within their industry.

“I welcome this new authority coming into effect,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

Source: Press Release

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