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REAA - The Update
  April 2017
Welcome to the autumn newsletter.

There is certainly a lot going on in the real estate sector - which is perhaps why there is so much to share with you in this edition. It's a busy time at REAA too and we have just completed the bulk licensing round - many thanks for helping to ensure that it ran so smoothly.

It's always interesting to check the statistics at this time of year when the licensing figures are in. Have a look at the graphs in the licensing data article below.

You can also read about:
  • Standard clauses and how to add them to your agency agreements
  • Trust account audit requirements and why it's important to keep on top of these
  • Disclosure and a decision that shows why it's important to be specific
  • Flipping and why this has been a hot topic in the media
  • Private sales and your obligations as a licensee
  • The Privacy Act and why it's important to understand it

Firstly, in brief...

  • Trust accounts: A reminder that your auditor has until 30 June 2017 to complete their trust account audit for the period 1 November 2016 to 31 March 2017. Your auditor must send a copy of the report to REAA and another to you within 10 working days of this final audit taking place. The report must be with REAA by Friday 14 July 2017.

    Please make sure your auditor has everything they need to complete the report in time to meet the July deadline. Call us on 0800 367 7233 or 04 471 8930 or email us at licensing@reaa.govt.nz before Friday 12 May if you have questions about the audit - that gives us time to resolve any issues before the 14 July deadline.

    See the article about trust account audit requirements below.

  • New Supervision Standard: The final draft of the supervision standard will be presented to the REAA Board in May and we expect it to be published by June.

  • Portal outage: Please note that the Licensing Portal will be out of action this coming weekend, from midday Friday 28 April to Sunday 30 April while we work on the platform. Apologies for any inconvenience.

  • Tenancy queries: We often receive enquiries from licensees about tenancy matters. REAA's scope does not cover residential tenancy and we refer people to Tenancy Services. This is a good website to refer your tenancy clients to also.

  • Pending legislation: In early April, Standards New Zealand announced further delays to the planned release of the national standard for properties contaminated with P. Due to the number and nature of public comments on the draft standard (NZS 8510 Standard for testing and remediation of meth-contaminated properties), and the time needed for the committee to consider them, the planned publication date has shifted to the end of June 2017.

    ... Meanwhile, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Bill, which will put in place the second phase of the AML/CFT Act, is before the Law and Order Select Committee. The Act has been extended to real estate agents, along with lawyers, conveyancers, accountants, and other businesses that deal in certain high value goods, in a bid to better prevent and detect money laundering.

  • Ask Kevin: Easter weekend saw the start of a new REAA column, 'Ask Kevin', published in the Waikato Times, The Dominion Post and The Press (and on stuff.co.nz). The column, which will run fortnightly, aims to answer common questions for the public about buying and selling property. You can read the first 'Ask Kevin' here on Stuff. REAA is also providing similarly themed content to a number of community newspapers around the country to help educate and inform consumers about real estate transactions. Please contact media@reaa.govt.nz if you have suggestions for topics we can cover.

  • Newsletter survey: Many thanks to those of you who completed the survey in February about what you like and don't like about this newsletter. We have made a few tweaks as a result - for example you'll see that the links to the CAC and Tribunal decisions are now at the end. Most of the feedback was favourable, so we'll continue to share details of decisions and legal articles and tips every two months.
Please don't wait for a survey to send me your comments and feedback. Email me at any time.

Kevin Lampen-Smith
Kevin Lampen-Smith

Kevin Lampen-Smith
Chief Executive Officer/Registrar

REAA licensing data
With bulk licence renewals completed for another year, we can share the latest licence data for an overview of the licensed real estate sector.
Read More

What are standard clauses?
REAA published “standard clauses” for real estate agencies to add to residential and rural agency agreements back in 2014 and 2015 in response to an increasing number of complaints from property sellers who were being charged commission by two agencies for the same transaction. The clauses are intended to give sellers and agencies certainty about when commission is due.
Read More

Failure to comply with trust account audit requirements is a serious matter
Agencies and agents who operate trust accounts are reminded that it is important to comply with your obligations under the Real Estate Agents (Audit) Regulations 2009.
Read More

Disclosure to buyers should be individual and specific
It is important that licensees make disclosure to potential buyers individually and in sufficient detail in order to fulfil your disclosure obligations.
Read More

Headlines screaming 'Flipping heck: Flippers net $1,800 a day' don't bring a smile to anyone involved in the New Zealand property market, unless they happen to be the ones making a tidy profit.
Read More

When should a sale be a 'private sale'?
You may, like any member of the public, wish to buy a property or sell your own. You may have considered selling your property without engaging another licensee or marketing your property through an agency, or you may wish to buy a property for which you or a colleague has signed an agency agreement.
Read More

The Privacy Act and how it applies to you
In our last newsletter we outlined various pieces of legislation that licensees need to be aware of. This month we focus on licensees obligations under the Privacy Act 1993.
Read More

Unsatisfactory conduct

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Please do not reply to this newsletter. If you wish to contact us please call us on 0800 for REAA (0800 367 7322) or 04 471 8930 or email us at info@reaa.govt.nz
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