- NSW Fair Trading conducted two week-long blitz
- $150,710 in fines issued
- All issues addressed including licensing, underquoting and more
New South Wales regulators have kept a keen eye on real estate in recent months.
In February, SafeWork cracked down on workplace health and safety, sites across the state saw a surge in inspector visits.
The blitz saw 96 notices served across 60 construction sites.
Dodgy agents can be fined up to $22,000, said Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, for failing to comply with the Property Stock and Business Agents Act.
In the latest blitz, NSW Fair Trading “uncovered a myriad of non-compliance,”.
“NSW Fair Trading has issued 137 Penalty Infringement Notices and 224 warnings, with fines totaling $150,710.”
Kevin Anderson, Minister for Better Regulation
“Our inspectors have been out visiting agencies, auctions and open homes across the state to make sure agents are doing the right thing and fining those who aren’t.”
One of many issues to be scrutinised included under quoting.
The Property Tribune reported that underquoting can arise in a fast-rising property market where competition for property listings is high – which is what is happening across Australia at the moment.
By definition, underquoting involves the price of a property being knowingly advertised less than the true value of the home as a way of driving interest.
In a statement earlier this year, the REIA said, “Passing off properties as ‘bargains’ means that potential buyers spend their time researching that property, potentially investing money in property inspections for that home and then either putting in a private bid or attending the auction for the property,”.
In NSW, agents cannot give consumers understated or vague property prices, such as “offers above $1 million”. During an inspection by NSW Fair Trading, agents must provide appropriate documentation to show they have followed relevant laws. Fines – and even losing all commission and fees – can be a consequence of selling an underquoted property.