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Agents bill heads towards law

A series of compromises finally saw the new Real Estate Agents Bill progress through Parliament this week.

Friday, August 1st 2008, 12:02PM

by The Landlord

On track to become law this year, the bill follows months of discussions with support parties and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ).

It overhauls the long overdue Real Estate Agents Act 1976 and promises to bring great accountability, transparency and openness to the real estate sector.

Key reforms include the establishment of an independent complaints system to put an end to self-regulation of the industry and increased penalties to protect consumers who have been ripped off. The Government backed down on its original stance and will now consult the REINZ on the first appointments to the new authority and disciplinary tribunal which governs the real estate industry.


Changes to the initial proposal include abandoning a review of the employment status of salespersons. REINZ president Murray Cleland says he is pleased with the changes. “The industry can now progress without having the ongoing threat of an employment status review which would have been extremely disruptive.”

The decision to review auction regulations was also rescinded. Evidence was submitted which shows the real estate industry has already taken significant steps to reduce risks to consumers at auctions.

Branch managers now need to have more experience in the industry – two out of 10 years rather than three out of 10 years. The National Party are still not happy. They’ve advocated three out of five years, in accordance to what they say comes from a majority of submissions.

Associate Justice Minister Clayton Cosgrove, who announced the changes also reconfirmed the government’s commitment to a review of the regulation of property managers in response to a number of submissions. “High levels of concern from submitters justify reviewing the regulation of property managers in more detail,” says Cosgrove.

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