Articles in Category: Member Update

Contents of Real Estate Excellence Member update - emailed to members the first week of each month plus loaded online in the Member updates folder.


Time frames for QCAT applications

Queensland

Timeframes

Average time to finalise an application

Every matter is different. These figures provide an average only. Your matter may take more or less time to finalise depending on its complexity.

Average time to hearing for minor civil disputes*

Every matter is different. These figures provide an average time to hearing only. Depending on its complexity, your matter may take more or less time to be scheduled for a hearing.

Minor civil dispute

Average time from application to hearing

Residential tenancy - urgent

2.5 weeks

Residential tenancy – non-urgent

4.8 weeks

Other minor civil disputes

5.8 weeks

* Currently, Brisbane times for application to hearing may take up to 16 weeks.

 

  • Last updated 2nd March 2018
  • Last reviewed 2nd March 2018

Sourced www.qcat.qld.gov.au 5th March 2018

Beware hacking scam targeting estate agent email accounts

Sourced article

Date
14 February 2018
Category
News alerts

Consumer Affairs Victoria has received recent reports of a possible hacking scam targeting the email accounts of estate agents, and causing home buyers to deposit their money into the wrong bank account.

In most cases, the home buyer was sent an email from the selling agent with the contract of sale and trust account details for payment of the deposit. Shortly afterwards, they received a second email from the same email address, advising them of an `error’ in the first email, and to deposit their money into a different account.

While it looks legitimate, the second email is possibly a hack - and money paid goes to an account not related to the selling agent.

If you have purchased a home and receive an email from the estate agent with trust account details to make payment, call the agent or visit them in person to verify that the email is legitimate. Be very suspicious if you receive a second email telling you to make payment into another account, even if it is from the same email address.

We strongly encourage estate agents, and all businesses, to regularly review and secure their online systems. Follow these tips to help keep email accounts safe:

  • consider setting up a two-step verification process with your email accounts. This requires a user to provide more than one type of proof that they are authorised before they can access an account
  • change your passwords and other verification details regularly
  • delete spam messages without opening them
  • do not share your email address online unless you need to. Consider setting up a separate email just for online transactions, and another for communicating privately with clients and customers.

For more information on maintaining your security online, visit the Email page on the Federal Government’s Stay Smart Online website.

If you are an estate agent sending account details for customers to make payment via email, we encourage you to advise them to:

  • be very wary if they receive a second email telling them to pay into another account, even if the email comes from the same address
  • call your office to check the email’s legitimacy. 

Any business or individual who believes they have been tricked into paying money into an incorrect account, should contact their bank immediately.

Instances of cybercrime can be reported to the Australian Cybercrime and Online Reporting Network.

IDCare is a not-for-profit organisation that provides free support services and resources to people and organisations targeted by cybercriminals and scams. For more information, visit the IDCare website.

While our recent reports indicate possible hacking of estate agent email accounts, any business or individual can be a target for cybercriminals. For more information on staying safe online, visit the Stay Smart Online website

 

Sourced from www.consumer.vic.gov.au

Queensland membership services and benefits

4 options to choose from - pay for the services you want and need

There are four membership options with Platinum PME membership being the highest membership option. Download the Queensland membership brochure here and or please contact us.

 The Property Management Excellence (PME) system includes the Sales Excellence training and procedures manual.

 Best practice email advisory and support services in the areas of residential property management, sales, administration and licensee matters. Personalised and professional services provided by Stacey Holt (Company Director) and Melissa Goody (membership support services).  About us

Monthly member update sent via email to member nominated staff which is full of best practice advice and up to date information relevant to the industry for sales, licensee, administration and property management. The updates are important for staff training and agency risk management. The Member Updates keep the office up to date with what is happening in the areas of best practice, compliance and risk management in all areas of residential real estate. Past updates are available at member online.

Landlord monthly education/information newsletter template. All your agency needs to do is personalise by inserting your agency logo and making the file PDF to email to existing clients and future clients on your mailing list. 

QCAT decisions and appeals are uploaded to member online, plus a QCAT 'case of the month' is provided each month with the member update monthly service.

Join the members Facebook private group. A great way to keep up to date immediately (important updates are emailed to members), training questions are posted and discussed and great for general networking. Queensland member office private group here

Face to face training held throughout Queensland is only $70 per person including GST  (Real Estate Excellence public half day training events and discounts for special events). More information here

No lock in contracts. (periodic agreement with first three month in advance required upon commencement of services.)

Online access to member online is given when the first membership account is paid.

PME – Property Management Excellence is a product of Real Estate Excellence Academy and is subject to copyright laws and provisions.  Members should always refer to member online to ensure the agency is using the most up to date version of the PME manual and best practice forms.

Four membership options; Download the Queensland membership brochure here and or please contact us.

Real Estate agency ordered to pay $880000 for misleading and deceptive conduct

Sourced article

Fletcher & Parker (Balwyn) Pty Ltd - Court outcome

14 December 2017
Court actions

A real estate agency in Melbourne’s east will pay $880,000 after the Federal Court of Australia found it engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations about property sales.

Fletcher & Parker (Balwyn) Pty Ltd (ACN: 004 958 794) – operating as ‘Fletchers’ at its Blackburn and Canterbury offices – will pay the penalty into the Victorian Consumer Law Fund. It will also pay $40,000 towards Consumer Affairs Victoria’s legal costs.

Our investigations revealed the agency had marketed and negotiated the sale of 22 residential properties throughout 2015, knowing that the:

  • vendors would not sell for a price within the listed range, or 
  • properties were unlikely to sell for the price listed.

The properties were located across Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, including Blackburn, Box Hill, Burwood, Camberwell, Kew, Mitcham, Surrey Hills and Vermont.

The penalty exceeds more than $370,500 in total commissions the agency received for selling those properties.

Fletcher & Parker (Balwyn) must also issue a public notice acknowledging their contraventions and:

  • publish it in the local Weekly Review newspaper in which the company advertises
  • publish it on the company’s websites
  • display it in the company’s offices for a period of six months.

The company must also implement a compliance program, including training its staff about their legal obligations under the Australian Consumer Law, and appoint a compliance officer to ensure the program is effectively designed, delivered and maintained. 

The company will also have to submit documents used in the program to us, and to act on recommendations made by the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria and his staff.

Sourced from www.consumer.vic.gov.au

Notice periods expiring on a weekend or public holiday - QLD

Queensland

 

1.9D Notice periods expiring on weekends and public holidays - extract from the Property Management Excellence PME manual

Notices that expire on a weekend or public holiday, should expire on the next business day and action taken the next business day. It is not recommended they expire on a weekend or a public holiday, though they can. Continue reading to fully understand this important procedure.

Notices can expire on weekends and or public holidays though as per section 38 (2) below of the Acts Interpretation Act, the notice does not actually expire until the next business day.

38 Reckoning of time

(1) If a period beginning on a given day, act or event is provided or allowed for a purpose by an Act, the period is to be calculated by excluding the day, or the day of the act or event,

and—

(a) if the period is expressed to be a specified number of clear days or at least a specified number of days—by excluding the day on which the purpose is to be fulfilled; and

(b) in any other case—by including the day on which the purpose is to be fulfilled.

(2) If the time, or last day of a period, calculated forwards that is provided or allowed by an Act for doing anything falls on an excluded day, the time, or last day, is taken to fall on the next day later that is not an excluded day.

(3) If the time, or earliest day of a period, calculated backwards that is provided or allowed by an Act for doing anything falls on an excluded day, the time, or earliest day, is taken to fall on

the next day earlier that is not an excluded day.

(4) If no time is provided or allowed for doing anything, the thing is to be done as soon as possible, and as often as the relevant occasion happens.

(5) In this section—

excluded day

(a) for filing or registering a document—means a day on which the office is closed where the filing or registration must or may be done; or

(b) otherwise—means a day that is not a business day in the place in which the thing must or may be done.

 

 Acts Interpretation Act 1954

In summary, section 38 (2) means;

            If the last day of a notice period (expiry date) under the RTRA Act, occurs on a weekend or public holiday, the actual expiry date must be moved to the next business day. The notice periods (other than hours’ notice periods), are clear days, meaning midnight to midnight.

            For example; if a notice was for 7 days for rent arrears notice to leave as per section 281 of the RTRA Act, and the 7 day notice expired at midnight on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the notice action could not be taken until the next business day. The notice would expire on the next business day and action taken the next business day after that.