What else can you use the Property Occupations Act for?
By Frank Higginson08 May 2014
The Property Occupations Bill was passed by State Parliament yesterday. It now needs to be assented to by the Governor (for all of the republicans out there we still need to go through supposedly regal approval of any legislation), and then it will commence on a date yet to be fixed.
We previously wrote about what the Property Occupations Act (‘the Act’) means for management rights here. None of that has changed.
In addition to those changes the Act represents a one off opportunity for some management rights house cleaning.
It goes without saying but you can only charge owners what your PAMDA20A allows. There have been quite a few sales in recent times (usually identified by the accountant for the buyers) where there have been differences between what was agreed between resident manager and owner to be charged in the PAMDA20A and what was actually charged.
These errors have gone both ways. Some charges are raised which are not authorised (i.e. the PAMDA20A says postage and petties is $5 a month, but the charge made is $7) and some are not invoiced when they have otherwise been agreed (i.e. a relet fee).
The Act is going to introduce a new standard form property appointment for all real estate transactions. That form is not yet publicly available.
When it is available, and when we know the date the Act commences, we think it will represent a one off chance to make sure that your letting appointments with owners are squeaky clean. If there was ever an opportunity to tidy things up, it is with the arrival of new legislation. It would be a very legitimate reason to contact your letting owners on the basis that new legislation means a new property management form – which would allow you to ensure that your arrangements with all letting owners are completely accurate.
Remember that old PAMDA20A’s will remain valid. You do not have to get new ones. But if you have been thinking about tidying things up, the time to do it will be very soon. In the meantime, a little internal audit (with your accountant if desired) would be worthwhile to see whether going through the process of getting new letting appointments would be worth the effort.