The Property Occupations Bill

property occupations bill
The current Act which governs Real Estate Agents in the sale of residential property (Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act) is on its last legs and a new Act, to be named The Property Occupations Act will, when passed by Government, then govern real estate agents and the selling of residential property in Queensland.
There are a number of changes under the new act which has been designed with a view to cutting red tape and improving the operation of the legislation.  This will be welcome news for all stakeholders in the real estate industry as the existing PAMDA has been a nightmare.
Notable changes include:
  1. Streamlining home sale contracts and statement – currently PAMDA prescribes a complex process which must be followed when presenting and delivering residential real estate contracts. These processes require several approved forms to be presented and delivered to a buyer in a specified way and order.  In addition, failure to comply with these provisions constitutes grounds for terminating the Contract. The existing Warning Statements (information sheets) will be replaced with a simpler requirement for a prescribed statement to be included in the contract, once, and in a conspicuous way, directly above where the buyer executes the Contract.
  2. The maximum commission constraints which an agent can charge will be removed meaning an agent can charge whatever commission they wish, provided of course, the Seller agrees to it.
  3. The prohibition on agents receiving a commission for beneficial interest sales will be removed provided the seller acknowledges and agrees to the agent acquiring the beneficial interest in the Sellers property.
  4. The Lawyers Certificate requirements will be removed.
  5. The limit on lengths of appointments for a sole or exclusive agency will be extended from 60 to 90 days.
  6. The requirement for agents to disclose to a buyer the commission the agent is receiving from the seller will be removed.
  7. Agents will be allowed to disclose the fact that a reserve price has been set for a property going to auction (but not the reserve price itself).

A Warning About Wills

A warning about wills

Many people have had their Will prepared by the Public Trust Office or a similar organisation at little or no cost, but there is a catch! As the old saying goes “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

Many organisations will offer you a “free Will” but will require that they are appointed your Executor and Trustee, and there is the catch!

These organisations impose prescribed fees to administer your estate based on a percentage of the total gross value of your estate which can mean the costs associated with handling your estate can be exorbitant in comparison with the fees charged by a Solicitor because their costs are based on the value of your estate not on the work it actually takes to administer your estate.

If you have made a Will with such an organisation you should think again. A few extra dollars spent now in having your Will professionally prepared by a Solicitor may save your estate thousands of dollars after you are gone.

A lot of people also try to save a few dollars by buying a Will kit but again be warned. These sorts or kits are generic as they have to be to be mass produced. If you make a mistake in completing them, signing them or having them witnessed your Will may be invalid. Whereas a Solicitor will take the time to speak to you individually and ensure that your Will properly reflects your wishes.

 

Questions?

If you have any questions about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact McLaughlin & Associate Lawyers via call or email.

Alternatively, you may visit our office in Springwood.

Employers and the Employee / Contractor Decision Tool

employers and the employee

Employers do you have employees or contractors?

It can be time consuming and confusing for clients to try and understand the exact type of arrangement and obligations that go with it.  Also there have been many cases where a business owner thinks that a person has been engaged as a Contractor only to subsequently discover that they are deemed to be an employee and hence entitled to certain benefits and entitlements.

The Australian Taxation Office has set up a couple of online decision tools which are a series of questions and answers and resulting explanations.  The good thing is there is no requirement to enter the TFN so the results are confidential.

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