Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special Minister of State
The Honourable Paul Lucas
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Queensland to deregulate real estate commissions
Queensland will move to deregulate real estate commissions the Deputy Premier and Attorney-General Paul Lucas announced today.
Mr Lucas said commencing the deregulation process would bring Queensland into line with other states and territories.
“Over the years there have been numerous national and state reviews recommending the deregulation of real estate commissions and it is also strongly supported by the real estate industry,‘” he said.
“While deregulation will bring Queensland into line with other Australian jurisdictions it will not be introduced at the expense of consumers.
“The Government is keen to start the negotiating process with the relevant stakeholders.
“But I want to make it clear, any changes will have strong consumer protections including strong disclosure and Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) will be given the jurisdiction to deal with situations where it is alleged by a seller that a commission is harsh and unconscionable.”
Mr Lucas said QCAT would be able to set aside the commission or vary the terms of any relevant commission contract and substitute a ‘fair’ commission.
“QCAT will be an accessible and affordable option where parties can represent themselves in dealing with these disputes.
“The problem with the current ‘fixed’ commission system is it does not take into account the circumstances such as the saleability of a property or the amount of effort required for it ultimately to be sold.
“While there may be perceived concerns that deregulation may lead to increases in commissions, the experience in other jurisdictions shows that this is not the case and QCAT is there as an added protection.
“Deregulating commissions for the purchase or sale of residential property is expected to lead to increased competition in the industry, which will benefit both consumers and agents.
“I want to involve consumer groups in the consultation process as we need to make sure any outcome is fair and that there is no ability to enter into exotic retainer arrangements that lack transparency,” he said.
Real estate commissions are currently regulated under the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (the PAMD Act) and the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Regulation 2001 (the PAMD Regulation).