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property_agents_and_managers
English

Onsite residential property manager 

Rules of conduct

Rules 1 - 11 

1. Knowledge of Act and Regulations

An agent must have a knowledge and understanding of the Act and the regulations under the Act and other relevant laws, (including laws relating to tenancy, fair trading, trade practices, anti-discrimination and privacy) as may be necessary to enable the agent to exercise his or her functions as agent lawfully.

2. Fiduciary obligations

An agent must comply with the fiduciary obligations arising as an agent.

3. Honesty, fairness and professionalism

(1) An agent must act honestly, fairly and professionally with all parties in a transaction.

(2) An agent must not mislead or deceive any parties in negotiations or a transaction.

4. Skill, care and diligence

An agent must exercise reasonable skill, care and diligence.

5. High pressure tactics, harassment or unconscionable conduct

An agent must not engage in high pressure tactics, harassment or harsh or unconscionable conduct.

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6. To act in client’s best interests

An agent must act in the client's best interest at all times unless it would be contrary to the Act or regulations under the Act or otherwise unlawful to do so.

7. Confidentiality

An agent must not, at any time, use or disclose any confidential information obtained while acting on behalf of a client or dealing with a customer, unless:

(a) the client or customer authorises disclosure, or
(b) the agent is permitted or compelled by law to disclose.

8. To act in accordance with client authority

An agent must not act as an agent or represent himself or herself as acting as an agent on behalf of a person without written authority. 

9. To act in accordance with client’s instructions

An agent must act in accordance with a client’s instructions unless it would be contrary to this Act or regulations under the Act, or otherwise unlawful to do so.

10. Licensee must ensure employees comply with the Act and regulations

An agent who is the licensee-in-charge at a place of business must take reasonable steps to ensure other licensees or registered persons employed in the business conducted there comply with the Act and regulations under the Act.

11. Conflicts of interest

An agent must not accept an appointment to act, or continue to act, as an agent if doing so would place the agent’s interests in conflict with the client's interests. 

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Rules 12 - 19 

12. Referral to service provider

An agent who refers a principal or prospect to a service provider must not falsely represent to the principal or prospect that the service provider is independent of the agent.

A service provider is considered to be ‘independent’ of an agent if:

(a) the agent receives no rebate, discount, commission or benefit for referring a client or customer to the service provider, and
(b) the agent does not have a personal or commercial relationship with the service provider. 

The following are examples of a personal or commercial relationship:

(a) a family relationship,
(b) a business relationship,
(c) a fiduciary relationship,
(d) a relationship in which one person is accustomed, or obliged, to act in accordance with the directions, instructions or wishes of the other person.

If the service provider is not independent of the agent, the agent must disclose to the principal or prospect:

(a) the nature of any relationship, whether personal or commercial, the agent has with the service provider, and
(b) the nature and value of any rebate, discount, commission or benefit the agent may receive, or expects to receive, by referring the client or customer to the service provider.

13. Licensee not to recommend engagement of services of solicitor or licensed conveyancer acting for other party

An agent must not recommend that a principal or prospect engage the services of a solicitor or licensed conveyancer, or firm of solicitors or licensed conveyancers, if the agent knows that the solicitor or licensed conveyancer, or the firm of solicitors or licensed conveyancers, acts or will be acting for the other party to the agreement concerned.

Sub-clause (1) does not prevent an agent recommending that a principal or prospect engage the services of a solicitor or licensed conveyancer if no other solicitor or licensed conveyancer is available (for example, in a remote location).

If no other solicitor or licensed conveyancer is available, the agent must, in recommending their engagement, advise the principal or prospect that the solicitor or licensed conveyance is or will be acting for the other party.

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14. Inducements

An agent must not offer to provide to any other person any gift, favour or benefit, whether monetary or otherwise, in order to induce any other person to engage the services of the agent as agent in respect of any matter. 

15. Soliciting through false or misleading advertisements or communications

An agent must not solicit clients or customers through advertisements or other communications that the agent knows or should know are false or misleading. 

16. Insertion of material particulars in documents

An agent must not submit or tender to any person for signature a document, or cause or permit any document to be submitted or tendered to any person for signature, unless at the time of submission or tendering of the document all material particulars have been inserted in the document. 

17. Duty to provide copy of signed documents

An agent who submits or tenders a document to any person for signature, or who causes or permits a document to be submitted or tendered to any person for signature, must immediately after the person has signed the document give a copy of the document to the person.

18. Representations about the Act or regulations

An agent must not falsely represent to a person the nature or effect of a provision of the Act or any regulation under the Act.

An agent must not, either expressly or impliedly, falsely represent, whether in writing or otherwise, to a person that a particular form of agency agreement or any term of such an agreement is required by the Act or a regulation under the Act.

19. Agency agreements must comply with regulations

An agent must not enter into an agency agreement unless the agreement complies with any applicable requirements of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Regulation 2003, as required by section 55 of the Act.

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Rules 20 - 24 

20. Co-operation about records, access and transfer

If an agent is acting on behalf of a principal in the management of property and is advised by another agent that the other agent (the new agent) has been engaged to act on behalf of that principal in the management of that property, the agent must co-operate with the new agent in regards to access to the records of the principal, including but not limited to making the records reasonably available (according to law), and facilitating the transfer of management functions between the agent and the new agent.

21. Disclosure of potential agency

If an agent intends to act (or offers to act) for a principal in the management of property and is aware that another agent is or other agents are managing that property for the principal, the agent must, unless the principal otherwise directs in writing, disclose their intention to act or to offer to act to the current agent or agents.

22. Use of collection agent to collect rent

A licensee must not use the services of a collection agent to collect rent on behalf of a principal unless the arrangements for the collection and holding of that rent pending its payment to the agent or the principal comply with such guidelines as the Commissioner for Fair Trading may issue from time to time under this clause (including guidelines requiring rent collected by a collection agent to be paid into and retained in a trust account). In this clause collection agent means a person who collects rent as agent for and on behalf of a licensee.

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23. Confirmation of specific instructions – property management services

Before or at the time of entering into an agency agreement under which the agent will provide property management services in respect of the leasing of residential property or rural land, the agent must prepare for inclusion in the agency agreement written confirmation of the extent of the agent's authority to undertake the following duties in connection with the management of the property and any limitations on the agent’s authority to undertake those duties:

(a) obtaining references from prospective tenants, arranging inspections of the property by prospective tenants and choosing a tenant,
(b) entering into and signing a tenancy agreement (specifying the term for which the property may be let),
(c) undertaking inspections of the property,
(d) effecting repairs to and maintaining the property or engaging tradespersons to do so and limitations on expenditure that may be incurred by the agent without obtaining the principal's approval,
(e) paying disbursements and expenses incurred in connection with the agent’s management of the property,
(f) collecting rent,
(g) receiving, claiming and disbursing rental bond money,
(h) serving notices for breach of the tenancy agreement or to terminate the tenancy agreement,
(i) undertaking the necessary steps to obtain vacant possession and recover any money owing to the principal in relation to the tenancy of the property,
(j) representing the principal in any tribunal or court proceedings in respect of the tenancy of the property,
(k) paying accounts for amounts owing in relation to the property (for example, water rates and charges, council rates, maintenance expenses and owners corporation levies),
(l) advertising the property for letting or re-letting,
(m) reviewing the rent at the end of a tenancy.

24. Confirmation of specific instructions – leasing of property

Before or at the time of entering into an agency agreement under which the agent will act for the owner of residential property or rural land in relation to the entering into a lease of the residential property or rural land, the agent must prepare for inclusion in the agency agreement written confirmation of the extent of the agent’s authority to undertake the following duties in connection with the entering into of the lease and any limitations on the agent’s authority to undertake those duties:

(a) obtaining references from prospective tenants, arranging inspections of the property by prospective tenants and choosing a tenant,
(b) entering into and signing a tenancy agreement,
(c) undertaking an initial inspection of the property,
(d) collecting initial rent payment,
(e) receiving and disbursing rental bond money,
(f) advertising the property for letting.

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