May 30, 2013

Upcoming Property Management webinars from Real Estate Excellence

The following webinars will be scheduled soon -

Where do these laws come from and why you need to know (July 18th)
* pools
* safety switches
* writing of special terms prohibited by agents
* smoke alarms

Time management tips and prioritisation for property managers (19th July)

Significant breaches of tenancy by tenants - what are they and what do they mean? (26th July)

Significant changes to tenancies upon renewal - what they are and what can happen? (1st August)

Urgent applications to  QCAT - what are they? (2nd August)

Tenancy databases - listing and the law

PAMD Split - what does it mean for the industry (members only)

To subscribe for updates visit

When you subscribe, you will receive a FREE webinar - tips for newcomers and refresher for the experienced property manager

May 28, 2013

Time management tips for Property Managers

Property management involves many tasks and it is quite easy to feel overwhelmed if tasks are not clearly understood or not clearly set out. It is recommended that property managers write out the following;

 What are daily tasks that have to be done?

 What tasks must be done weekly?

 What tasks have to be done at certain times of the month?

 What must be done each fortnight?

 What must be done each month?

Once the above tasks have been written down, create an ideal week and ideal month plan.
Ideal means ideal, not perfect. Property managers should have a guide and goals in order to carry out their required tasks successfully. If a plan is not followed, there usually is a crisis reactive management environment; as opposed to a proactive controlled management situation. It is very easy to feel overwhelmed in property management which leads to frustration personally and is also is a significant risk factor to the agency in general.

Refer to Chaper 23 of the PME manual (for PME users) for more tips and best practice forms to help with time management.

Compliance boosted in Queensland real estate industry

More than 80 per cent of employers in Queensland’s real estate industry are now complying with workplace laws by lodging staff pay agreements, a Fair Work Ombudsman follow-up campaign has found.

Fair Work inspectors have completed audits of 279 employers in Queensland’s real estate industry and found that 230 (82 per cent) lodged written pay agreements for staff with the Queensland Property Industry Registry (QPIR).

The 49 employers (18 per cent) who had failed to lodge agreements were at locations including Brisbane, Bowen, Bundaberg, Cairns, Chinchilla, Dalby, Emerald, Gatton, Gladstone, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Gympie, Ingham, Innisfail, Ipswich, Kingaroy, Mackay, Port Douglas, Rockhampton, Sunshine Coast, St George, Toowoomba and Townsville
The results are a big improvement from a Fair Work Ombudsman campaign conducted in 2011, in which 156 Queensland real estate industry employers were audited and only 75 (48 per cent) were found to have lodged agreements.

It is a requirement under the Real Estate Industry Award 2010 for Queensland real estate industry employers to lodge a written agreement with the QPIR for all staff classified as property / strata management or property sales employees.

The agreements must state how the employees will be paid - commission-only, part-commission or as per the rates listed in the Modern Award.

During the recent follow-up campaign, inspectors revisited employers found to be in contravention in 2011 and randomly selected other real estate businesses across Queensland for audit.

The Fair Work Ombudsman also worked with key industry stakeholders to contact more than 2000 real estate industry employers in Queensland to make them aware of their obligations under workplace laws.
Acting Fair Work Ombudsman, Michael Campbell, said the sharp improvement in compliance rates was encouraging.

“It is particularly pleasing that we revisited 50 employers that were in contravention in 2011 and found that all of them are now compliant,” Mr Campbell said.

“It reinforces that our inspectors’ approach of working co-operatively with employers to educate them about their obligations and assist them to put processes in place to ensure ongoing compliance is having a positive impact.” 
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s campaigns focused on real estate agents, business and hotel brokers, strata and community title management businesses, stock and station agents, buyers’ agencies and real estate valuation agents.

Mr Campbell said the Fair Work Ombudsman focused on ensuring the agreement requirements were complied with because many of the underpayment complaints that come from real estate industry workers in Queensland are against employers who have not lodged pay agreements with the QPIR
“Employers who fail to lodge agreements are at greater risk of underpaying their employees,” he said.
“By ensuring employers are complying with the requirement to lodge agreements, we are aiming to prevent underpayments and pay disputes before they occur.”

Employers and employees seeking information and advice should consult the free tools and resources available at or call the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

Campaign result:
QLD Real estate follow-up campaign 2013 report (pdf 329KB)
QLD Real estate follow-up campaign 2013 report (doc 844KB)

Media inquiries:
Penny Rowe, Media & Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146

sourced directly from as at 28th May 2013

May 27, 2013

Real Estate Excellence June Member Update

Member Update - June 2013 - 21 page edition

Webinar training calendar June 2013

Licensee training programme – licensee and senior property management forum

PM training programme – vacates, bonds, disputes and QCAT training

Nominated staff details

Member forms online at sugar sync

No liability found for injury where glass panel did not meet current Australian standards

National Occupational Licensing Scheme update

JP's to hear QCAT matters as of 3rd June update

Update from Fair Work Australia

Landlord newsletter this month - taxation and property management expenses

PME users update – new feature (regular column)

Licensee/Administration Best Practice

Recent sales court decisions – settlement and finance


Sales Best Practice

Salespeople and rental properties


Property Management Best Practice

Termination of management agreements including the end date insertion (completed best practice copy of PAMD form 20a included as attachment)
Solar panels and rental property


Information about the PME system (Platinum Members)

Disclaimer – on the last page

Landlord newsletter topic letter (attached to the Member update each month)

Rental Property Expenses
Emailed to Members of Real Estate Excellence on the 3rd June 2013

May 23, 2013

Training videos online for property managers (PME system)

The following training videos form part the PME system. . The list will continue to grow but for now here is what is available to view anytime online with your staff or when you have new staff. Each training video is an estimated 30 minutes in length.

PAMD Form 20a quick tips

Termination of management agreements

Carrying out a rental appraisal

Entry condition reports

Exit condition reports and risk management

Processing tenancy applications

How to complete breach notices

Explaining the management agreement to the owner

Routine inspection tips

Advertising property, showing property and owner feedback

Tips for using PME

QCAT Form 2

Landlord obligations including disclosure

Tips on using the RTRA Act

Rental properties for sale

Tips for newcomers and refresher for the experienced PM

Property Managers Did you Know - common myths

Tips on how to be an excellent property manager

Break leases - the law and best practice

PAMD Code of Conduct for property managers

5 reasons a notice to leave can be issued to a tenant

PM Development programme

7 ways to legally end a tenancy

Tenant obligations and the RTRA Act

Maintenance the law and best practice

Binding a tenant lawfully

Questions that all property managers should know the answers too

Questions that all property managers should know the answer too - Part 2

Do you know the answers to these questions?

Management agreement best practice update regarding the continuing appointment and end date

Would you like to know more about the PME (Property Management Excellence) system which is an exclusive benefit optional for Platinum Elite members of Real Estate Excellence?

If so, please contact Stacey Holt

May 22, 2013

Real Estate Fraud Prevention




Identity fraud and scams are increasingly prevalent throughout the community and the real estate industry is not immune to falling victim to such events.

Two highly publicised incidents in September 2010 and March 2011 resulted in properties being sold in Western Australia without the knowledge and consent of the lawful owners.

In both instances, real estate agents were contacted by the fraudsters who were acting as the true owners. The properties were tenanted and managed by a real estate agent on behalf of the registered owner. The fraudsters contacted the agent, pretended to be the owners and notified them of new contact details which formed the basis of future contracts.

These two events highlight the relative ease by which fraud can occur and emphasise that agents need to be on high alert for potential fraudulent real estate transactions.

The applicable Property Agents and Motor Dealers (Real Estate Agency Practice Code of Conduct) Regulation 2001 places a number of obligations on agents which are relevant to take steps to avoid situations as described above. Agents have a fiduciary obligation to their clients and must exercise reasonable skill and diligence in order to act in their clients´ best interests. Agents are also required to verify ownership of the property and all facts relating to a sale.

Warning signs for possible fraud scenarios

The following warning signs can be an indication of possible real estate fraud:
  • recent change in address or contact details provided by someone other than your client (or someone acting on behalf of your client)
  • documents originate from overseas or places of questionable repute
  • request for funds to be sent to a different bank account to the one normally used by client
  • advised the sale is urgent - for example, because of an overseas investment opportunity
  • there are inconsistencies in the information provided by the client
  • new email addresses are generic such as Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail
  • language used in email communications is uncharacteristically poor
  • comments by ´seller´ that if the sale is successful or quick, future work or other incentives will be provided to the agent.

Risk management

There are a number of tools that agents may use to confirm a client´s identity:
  • conduct a 100-point identity check using multiple points of identification
  • maintain a signature register where original signatures of clients are obtained and kept on file for reference for future transactions
  • file particular discussions or queries unique to the client for future reference
  • complete property transactions in person, if possible.

Action to take if fraudulent activity is suspected

Agents who suspect real estate fraud must:
  • contact the Queensland Police
  • not act on the sale of the property.
Agents should retain copies of all documents obtained in the process of verifying identities and in verifying the authority of a person to act in the sale of the property.
The above information has been sourced directly from as at 22nd May 2013

Real Estate Excellence members have access to a best practice identity form to use when working with sellers and landlords. Members should contact Stacey Holt for more information

May 8, 2013

Bonds, QCAT, Vacates and Disputes Property Management Training

The following training session will be held in many areas of Queensland in May, June, July 2013 - one session per area.  For more informatin visit

This interactive practical property management workshop will focus on the following:

The law and vacates

Best practice systems for vacates - scripts for discussing with tenants and tips on how to carry out a vacate

Dispute resolution tips and procedures

Bond dispute procedures and time frames

QCAT - Urgent and Non Urgent applications - completed best practice forms available and time frames for lodgement of applications

Why QCAT will not award bond or monies owing when an application is made for a termination/warrant of possession


Licensee and Senior Property Management Forum

The following forum will be held in many areas of Queensland during May, June and July 2013.
For more information visit
Stacey Holt will present the following forum discussing critical maters regarding property management businesses. This forum WILL assist your business. 5 minute video overview of the session can be viewed at this link

The following topics will be included in the session;

- Tips on how to audit your agency files and what to look for

- How to train staff effectively, efficiently and cheaply

- Top ten mistakes property managers make (unintentionally) & what to do if these mistakes are being made in your business

- What you must know as a licensee about property management for compliance, risk management and best practice - RTRA Act, PAMD, QCAT and other relevant industry matters

Plus a general industry update will be included as part of the session.

Each attendee will be able to request the following resources after the session

* completed PAMD Form 20a

* a best practice audit review of routine inspections and maintenance (62 recommendations) and much more

Wear and Tear of tenancy Vs Tenant damage from a Tribunal perspective

The following is an extract from QCAT decision

Jong v Beevers Real Estate [2013] QCAT 90

The decision provides the real estate industry and landlords with some guidance as to wear and tear and tenant damage. Wear and tear has long been a debated issue; wear and tear generally means events that occur from 'normal usage' of the premises. The following extracts provide some guidance as to what Tribunal takes in to consideration as far as tenant damage and wear and tear.

6] There is a general statutory requirement pursuant to s 188 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 for tenants to leave the premises, as far as possible, in the same condition at the start of the tenancy fair wear and tear expected.

[7] However, the wording of both sub-ss (2)-(3) limits the liability of a tenant, in so far as:

 Section 188(2) requires the premises and inclusions to be clean, by having regard to its condition at the start of the tenancy [emphasis added]; and

 Section 188(4) requires the tenant at the end of the tenancy, to leave the premises and inclusions, as far as possible, in the same condition they were at the start of the tenancy, fair wear and tear excepted [emphasis added].

[8] Thus for a lessor to successfully establish the liability of a tenant pursuant to ss 188(2)-(3), the weight of evidence must satisfy a Tribunal in finding that there was a change or difference in the property‟ condition (outside of what would be regarded as fair wear and tear) – from the commencement of the lease compared to when the tenant vacated.

[9] This ultimately involves an examination of the evidence - such as entry condition reports, photographs and witness statements - to determine the actual condition of the property and inclusions that are the subject of the claim, at the start of the tenancy.

[10] Once this baseline standard or condition of the property and inclusion is established, a determination can be made by the Tribunal as to whether there has been a subsequent change in the standard by examining evidence (such as exit condition reports, additional photographs and witness statements) gathered after receiving vacant possession and comparing it to the earlier evidence.

This informaton has been provided by