June 17, 2014

Property Management training #Brisbane


 Property Management Career Development

6 courses in the programme; complete them all or just one - your choice

Designed for newcomers to the industry and also great for the experienced as a refresher

Venue 8th August 2014  -  The Gabba, 411 Vulture Street, East Brisbane

 The focus of every Real Estate Excellence training & education forum is on best practice, the legislation & management of risk for your agency. 

Management of tenancies (course 3)
  • Maintenance – routine and emergency procedures and risk management
  • Appointing Contractors
  • Entry provisions
  • Routine inspections - tips on how to carry out
 
FREE parking at the venue - dress standards apply for the QLD Cricketers Club
Please email Stacey.holt@realestateexcellence.com.au for the dress standards if required.
Morning tea included - please advise any special dietary requirements

Property Management training #Townsville


 Property Management Career Development

Designed for newcomers to the industry and also great for the experienced as a refresher

Venue - Jupiters Casino Sir Leslie Thiess Drive, Townsville

 The focus of every Real Estate Excellence training & education forum is on best practice, the legislation & management of risk for your agency.  

 The Foundation
  • What is Property Management Excellence?
  • Understanding QCAT, RTA and the OFT
  • Understanding key documentation used in tenancy such as the General Tenancy Agreement and the Management Agreement
  • Understanding the legislative duty to the lessor and tenant
  • Vital risk management procedures and why
  • Landlord disclosure and landlord obligations under the RTRA Act
  • Tips for succeeding in property management
  • Where do the laws come from?
  • Time management tips
  • Email etiquette
  • Using the right language
  • How to study and use the RTRA Act
  • How to find QLD legislation 

Property Management training #Bundaberg


 Property Management Career Development

Designed for newcomers to the industry and also great for the experienced as a refresher

Venue - Burnett Riverside, Quay Street, Bundaberg

 The focus of every Real Estate Excellence training & education forum is on best practice, the legislation & management of risk for your agency.  
 The Foundation
  • What is Property Management Excellence?
  • Understanding QCAT, RTA and the OFT
  • Understanding key documentation used in tenancy such as the General Tenancy Agreement and the Management Agreement
  • Understanding the legislative duty to the lessor and tenant
  • Vital risk management procedures and why
  • Landlord disclosure and landlord obligations under the RTRA Act
  • Tips for succeeding in property management
  • Where do the laws come from?
  • Time management tips
  • Email etiquette
  • Using the right language
  • How to study and use the RTRA Act
  • How to find QLD legislation 

Property Management training #Rockhampton

 Property Management Career Development

Designed for newcomers to the industry and also great for the experienced as a refresher

Venue - CQ Leagues Club, Lion Creek Road, Wandal

 The focus of every Real Estate Excellence training & education forum is on best practice, the legislation & management of risk for your agency.  

 The Foundation
  • What is Property Management Excellence?
  • Understanding QCAT, RTA and the OFT
  • Understanding key documentation used in tenancy such as the General Tenancy Agreement and the Management Agreement
  • Understanding the legislative duty to the lessor and tenant
  • Vital risk management procedures and why
  • Landlord disclosure and landlord obligations under the RTRA Act
  • Tips for succeeding in property management
  • Where do the laws come from?
  • Time management tips
  • Email etiquette
  • Using the right language
  • How to study and use the RTRA Act
  • How to find QLD legislation 

Property Management training #Cairns


 Property Management Career Development


Designed for newcomers to the industry and also great for the experienced as a refresher

Venue - Shang Ri La Hotel, The Pier, Cairns

 The focus of every Real Estate Excellence training & education forum is on best practice, the legislation & management of risk for your agency.  


 The Foundation
  • What is Property Management Excellence?
  • Understanding QCAT, RTA and the OFT
  • Understanding key documentation used in tenancy such as the General Tenancy Agreement and the Management Agreement
  • Understanding the legislative duty to the lessor and tenant
  • Vital risk management procedures and why
  • Landlord disclosure and landlord obligations under the RTRA Act
  • Tips for succeeding in property management
  • Where do the laws come from?
  • Time management tips
  • Email etiquette
  • Using the right language
  • How to study and use the RTRA Act
  • How to find QLD legislation 

Property Management training #Mackay

 Property Management Career Development

Designed for newcomers to the industry and also great for the experienced as a refresher
Venue - Ocean International, Bridge Road, Mackay

 The focus of every Real Estate Excellence training & education forum is on best practice, the legislation & management of risk for your agency.  
 The Foundation
  • What is Property Management Excellence?
  • Understanding QCAT, RTA and the OFT
  • Understanding key documentation used in tenancy such as the General Tenancy Agreement and the Management Agreement
  • Understanding the legislative duty to the lessor and tenant
  • Vital risk management procedures and why
  • Landlord disclosure and landlord obligations under the RTRA Act
  • Tips for succeeding in property management
  • Where do the laws come from?
  • Time management tips
  • Email etiquette
  • Using the right language
  • How to study and use the RTRA Act
  • How to find QLD legislation 

Property Management Training #Gladstone

 Property Management Training


2nd July - Rydges Gladstone, Goondoon Street, Gladstone
 
The focus of every Real Estate Excellence training & education forum is on best practice, the legislation & management of risk for your agency.  
 
 The forum presented by Stacey Holt will cover the following;
 
 How the Property Occupations Act and the Agents Financial Administration Act impact property management and what property managers need to know about the new laws that have passed but are not yet in effect. 
 
The proposed changes to the RTRA Act regarding minimum housing standards and how they impact lessors and tenants.
 
 The top ten myths in property management.
 
 * Note - the original advertised program for training has changed to the above content

More information here

Property Management Training Fraser Coast








27th June 2014 - Maryborough RSL

 The focus of every Real Estate Excellence training & education forum is on best practice, the legislation & management of risk for your agency
.  
 The forum presented by Stacey Holt will cover the following;

 How the Property Occupations Act and the Agents Financial Act impact property management and what property managers need to know about the new laws that have passed but are not yet in effect.

 The proposed changes to the RTRA Act regarding minimum housing standards and how they impact lessors and tenants.

The top ten myths in property management.
 
 * Note - the original advertised program for training has changed to the above content

Register here

May 25, 2014

June 2014 Real Estate Excellence Member Update


Contents of the Real Estate Excellence June Member Update 2014
Emailed to members the first week of June and uploaded online at www.realestateexcellence.com.au
Member information update
 
Member online for Platinum PME, Platinum and PME members
 
Box for Gold, Bronze and Individual members
 
A reminder of the importance of not breaching the Do Not  Call Register Laws
 
Landlord charged over fatal gas explosion
 
Real Estate advertisements – a focus on price, location and title
 
National licensing rescheduled for 2015
Cyber criminals steal $50,000 from Broome real estate agency trust accounts
Mackay investors win as Supreme Court judge refuses extra council rates for rental owners
Property Manager sues landlord for injury at rental property
Upcoming training events
PME system users update
 
Licensee/Administration Best Practice
 
The Property Occupations Act – summary for licensees
 
Property Management Best Practice
 
QCAT Form 8 -  counter application
 
Sales Best Practice
Buyers, insurance and the signing of contract
Landlord newsletter topic letter (attached to the Member update each month – not included in individual membership package)  - Landlord obligations generally
 
QCAT case study of the month- case for review and staff training attached to the member update      

May 13, 2014

Test your doormat: the reasonable landlord and harm to others

In brief - High standard placed on a "reasonable person" to foresee risks

In the case Dillon v Hair [2014] NSWCA 80, the NSW Court of Appeal recently affirmed the decision of a NSW District Court judge in finding a landlord liable to their property agent for placing an outdoor mat inside the front door of a recently vacated house, causing the agent to fall and sustain injury.

Tenant gives notice to vacate premises and landlord prunes trees at premises

Jann and Harry Dillon owned a property at Katoomba in New South Wales. They retained Margaret Hair of Century 21 as their agent to manage the tenancy of the property.

In April 2010, the tenant at the time gave notice that she wished to vacate the premises. The tenant told Ms Hair that she would vacate possession on 21 May 2010 and had booked removalists for 14 May 2010. In order for the removalists to gain access to the property, the tenant asked Ms Hair to arrange pruning of some trees. Ms Hair conveyed this request to Mr and Mrs Dillon, with Mr Dillon attending to the pruning himself.

Landlord places mat on polished floorboards inside doorway of premises

The tenant gave evidence that after 14 May 2010, she returned to the premises for a "big clean up" so that the premises were in a suitable condition for the final inspection. When she entered the front door, she saw that a mat had been placed on the inside of the doorway.

The tenant assumed, and it was accepted by the primary judge, Elkaim J, that Mr Dillon placed the mat at the door, on the polished floorboards, to avoid tracking dirt into the clean premises.

Real estate agent suffers fall when mat slides out from underneath her

When the tenant returned to the premises on 21 May 2010 for the final inspection with Ms Hair, she noticed that the mat was still in place by the front door. After Ms Hair and the tenant had walked through the premises, the tenant stepped on the mat to leave, without incident.

Ms Hair gave evidence that she followed the tenant and stepped on the mat, when it slid from underneath her, causing her to fall heavily onto her left knee.

Real estate agent commences proceedings against landlords and former tenant

Ms Hair commenced proceedings against the owners, Mr and Mrs Dillon, as well as the former tenant, alleging that both parties were negligent in:
 
  • Placing the mat on polished floor boards near the entrance in circumstances where the mat was liable to slip
  • Failing to ensure that the mat had a non-slip backing
  • Failing to warn Ms Hair that the mat was slippery and dangerous on polished floorboards
Foreseeable risk under the Civil Liability Act

Ms Hair relied on section 5B of the Civil Liability Act 2002, arguing that a person will be found to be negligent in failing to take precautions against a risk of harm where:
 
  • the risk was foreseeable
  • the risk was not insignificant
  • in the circumstances, a reasonable person in the person's position would have taken those precautions
Precautions against a risk of harm

In determining whether a reasonable person would have taken precautions against a risk of harm, the Act specifies that the court must consider, amongst other relevant things:
 
  • the probability that the harm would occur if care were not taken
  • the likely seriousness of the harm
  • the burden of taking precautions to avoid the risk of harm
  • the social utility of the activity that creates the risk of harm
 Risk of unsecured mat slipping found to be foreseeable

Judge Elkaim of the District Court of NSW found in favour of Ms Hair as against Mr and Mrs Dillon but not as against the tenant. Judge Elkaim was satisfied on the evidence that the risk of an unsecured mat slipping while on polished floorboards presented a foreseeable risk that Mr and Mrs Dillon should have appreciated and sought to avoid the risk, by either not placing the mat on polished floorboards, leaving it outside or placing non-slip material underneath it.

Landlords appeal to NSW Court of Appeal

Mr and Mrs Dillon appealed to the NSW Court of Appeal, arguing that an occupier is not required to make premises perfectly safe, but safe to the standard of a reasonable occupier.
 
They also sought to argue that the mere fact of slipping was not sufficient to establish that a surface was slippery - rather, Ms Hair was required to show that the surface was unreasonably slippery.


In considering whether the primary judge erred in his decision, the Court of Appeal (Macfarlan JA, Emmett JA and Tobias AJA) was asked to consider, notwithstanding that the risk of harm was foreseeable and the risk not insignificant, whether in the circumstances a reasonable person in the position of the owners would have taken any precautions.

Court of Appeal upholds District Court decision

The Court of Appeal held that it was open to the primary judge to find that a reasonable person in the position of Mr Dillon, having "the knowledge of the condition of the underside of the mat" would have taken necessary precautions before placing the mat on polished floorboards.

The suggested steps to avoid such an incident included, obviously, not placing the mat in such a position where it could slide and secondly, affixing an anti-slip product to the bottom of the mat.

A "reasonable person" must be able to foresee risks and take appropriate precautions

The decision, whilst based on its unique factual scenario and the evidence of Mr Dillon in which he unequivocally conceded that the "rubbery" bottom side of the mat had become hard over the years due to its exposure to the weather, places a relatively high standard on the "reasonable person" to foresee risks and take appropriate precautions.

Although the circumstances of this case involved the relationship of a landlord and agent and were specific to the facts, it could equally apply to a guest at one's own home, given the essential element of occupation potentially exposing public liability insurers to a raft of claims.

May 8, 2014

Landlord charged over fatal gas explosion that killed a tenant

A Northland home owner charged after a young woman died in a gas explosion has pleaded guilty to charges relating to the woman's death.


Peter John McLeod, 73, appeared in Whangarei District court today and admitted charges of undertaking an unauthorised gas fitting, failing to take all practicable steps to ensure that gas appliances were safe and completing gas work where not authorised to do so.


Energy Safety, which is part of WorkSafe NZ, laid the charges following the death of Lesley Anita Wehi-Jack, 19, who died in Middlemore Hospital on February 12 last year.


Ms Wehi-Jack was critically injured, suffering burns to 70 per cent of her body, when she entered the Ruakaka house she was renting in Tamure Dr and a gas appliance exploded.
She had been in the home little over a week at the time. The force of the explosion rocked neighbouring homes.
A coroner's inquest into Ms Wehi-Jack's death had been due to get underway today, but has been postponed. McLeod will be sentenced next month.


Ms Wehi-Jack had just arrived home from work about 8.30pm and opened the door when the explosion ripped through her house. Badly burned, she managed to get outside the house where she was helped by neighbours who doused her with a garden hose. She was rushed to Northland Base Hospital in a serious condition but died surrounded by family less than 24 hours later.


Nearby resident Jill Russell, 79, said she heard "a huge bang from about a mile away".
She ran outside and saw flames shooting through the roof.


Mrs Russell saw Ms Wehi-Jack outside the house with burns to her face and her clothes torn, and went to her aid.


"It was terrible," Mrs Russell said.


At the time, specialist fire investigator Craig Bain said the explosion resulted from a faulty gas appliance in the kitchen area and called in an energy-safety inspector from Wellington and a gas-fire investigation specialist from Auckland to help examine the scene.



source http://www.nzherald.co.nz May 8th 2014

April 30, 2014

Real estate advertisements – a focus on price, location and title

Real estate does not sell itself. Properties are advertised for sale on websites, on signs, in newspapers and in brochures to attract potential purchasers.
Real estate advertisements must comply with the Australian Consumer Law which prohibits false or misleading representations in connection with the promotion of the sale of land, with a focus on –
the nature of the interest [title] in the land;
the price payable for the land;
the location of the land;
Section 152 (1) makes contravention a criminal offence. Section 30 (1) is in the same terms, but with a civil pecuniary penalty. And section 18 (1) contains a broad prohibition against misleading conduct.
Two recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, eight days apart, provide a guide as to how the Australian Consumer Law applies to advertising real estate for sale with a focus on price, location and title representations.
Misrepresentations on location and price
Barr and Standley is a reputable and long established real estate agency based in Bunbury, WA. Consumer Protection WA laid criminal charges under section 152 (1) Australian Consumer Law against the partners of Barr and Standley over two property sales advertisements placed on a real estate website. The first was for a false or misleading representation as to location, the second price.
They were acquitted by the magistrate after a trial at Bunbury. The appeal by Consumer Protection WA was refused by the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Criminal Division, for the reasons given by Justice Allanson in Commissioner for Consumer Protection v Standley [2014] WASC 45.
LocationThe first website advertisement was for the sale of ‘47 Hardwick Street, Harvey, WA 6220’. The use of ‘Harvey’ was deliberate, even though the property was located in a township of Cookernup, 12 km from the township of Harvey, because Harvey was a significant and well-known town, while Cookernup was not. Consumer Protection WA alleged that naming Harvey as the location was a false representation.
The Court examined the website page and found that ‘the address cannot be separated from the other information on the page’. In particular, the Google map on the page will direct the user to the correct location even though it is described as in ‘Harvey’ at the top of the page. Therefore, given that the consumer can do an internet search for a property at leisure, the Court concluded that the location was not false or misleading to the ‘reasonable consumer’.
Comment: Use the actual address, and add ‘near Harvey’ to avoid problems.
Price The second website advertisement was for the sale of a property at Pelican Point in the ‘price range $1.5 million to $2.5 million’. This was allegedly misleading because the seller was not prepared to sell at a price of less than $2.2 million.
The Court said that in the absence of evidence about an adverse reaction from the target audience or advertising practice, it was wrong to assume that ‘the target audience for that internet advertisement’ would have understood the price range ‘to represent that the seller would accept or consider offers in the lower part of the range’. Therefore, it was not false or misleading.
Comment: If the price was advertised only as $1.5 million, it would have been underquoting and therefore be misleading. Advertising a price range avoids this problem.
Conclusion: Consumer Affairs WA failed to prove that the advertisements were false or misleading.
Misrepresentations on title and price; and misleading conduct
Bryan and Patricia Susilo were not real estate agents, and were not promoting the sale of property for a cash price on standard terms. They were real estate investor novices who promoted Rent to Buy arrangements to sell property to ‘people who wanted to purchase a home but had difficulty qualifying for a conventional bank loan’. Their advertisements were different from standard real estate advertisements. For instance –
OWN MY HOME – No Banks Needed $558 p.wk + outgoings
Consumer Protection WA took civil prosecution proceedings under sections 18 (1) and 30 (1) Australian Consumer Law alleging that the advertisements, which were displayed on websites and on house signs, falsely claimed: they had an ownership interest; that homes could be purchased with no bank loan; and the price disclosed was all that was payable.
The Susilos admitted they made misleading representations in four of their advertisements. And so Justice Beech in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Civil Division, was concerned only with the declarations, injunctions and pecuniary penalties that should be made, in the decision of Commissioner for Consumer Protection v Susilo [2014] WASC 50.
Title - Nature of interest The Susilos did not have freehold title to the properties they advertised for sale as ‘Own my home’. Their ‘sale interest’ was an equitable interest either through taking a vendor option to purchase a property, or by entering into a joint venture with an owner to sell.
The Susilos were unable to defend against the Commissioner’s assertion that their advertisements would mislead the public. Their junior barrister who acted pro bono had no choice but to agree that the advertisements were misleading, rather than arguing they had a ‘sale interest’, because the Susilos could not afford to fund the legal fees. His role was to make submissions as to penalty. It is regrettable that Consumer Protection WA did not offer to fund the Susilos’ defence as a test case, similar to what the ATO does when it wants to set a precedent, because this devalues the decision as a precedent.
Comment: The misrepresentation was minor and could have been cured easily – by substituting ‘Own this home’ instead of ‘Own my home’. 
Misleading conduct The related misrepresentation on the advertisement was ‘No Banks Needed’. The Susilos sold the property as a Rent to Buy, which means that a prospective purchaser does not need bank finance immediately to purchase the property.
Comment: The misrepresentation was minor and could have been cured easily by adding ‘to move in’ to conform with the practice that purchasers pay out Rent to Buy arrangements a year or two later on, using bank finance.
Price The advertisement disclosed only the ongoing Rent to Buy payments – it did not fully disclose the full price payable for the home.
Comment: The misrepresentation was minor and could have been cured easily by adding ‘+ moving in and price payments’.
Other misrepresentations The Susilos made other misrepresentations, such as that they ‘bought houses fast’, they were part of a ‘group of investors’, and they ‘charged no commissions or fees’. They carried on a real estate business by marketing and selling properties for reward without holding a real estate agent’s licence.
Penalties In imposing pecuniary penalties, the Court took into account that there was no evidence that anyone was actually misled by the conduct, or suffered loss or damage, the nature and extent of the conduct, no previous contraventions, the small scale of the business, the genuine belief that taking an option or entering into a joint venture was sufficient to give an interest in a property to sell, their co-operation in admitting the contraventions rather than contesting them, and their youth and inexperience.
The penalties imposed were much lower than the WA Commissioner had sought. They were $17,500 for Ms Susilo, $12,000 for Mr Susilo (both with time to pay) and the agreed legal costs of $8,000.
How does the Susilo decision affect the vendor finance industry?
Justice Beech had in mind: “there is, or is likely to be, an active rent to buy industry” in Australia, which needs to comply with the Australian Consumer Law.
The Commissioner for Consumer Affairs did not challenge the legality of the rent to buy / vendor finance arrangements used. This is because Rent to Buy arrangements for residential property in the form of Leases with an Option to Purchase (if back to back – Sandwich Lease Options) and Instalment Contracts (Terms Contracts) are legal in Western Australia, and indeed throughout Australia, although with limits in South Australia.
The Susilo decision provides a clear warning that vendor financiers need to avoid false or misleading information in their advertisements. And they need to hold a real estate agent’s licence if they are carrying on a business of marketing and selling properties.
Source  - Anthony Cardato Cardato Partners www.lexology.com