Shonky real estate agents

    What’s the problem?

    Unfortunately almost every tenant seems to have a story about a shonky real estate agent – we hear them every day at the TUV. The law provides a framework for tenants to be protected from bad behavior by real estate agents; however this obviously doesn’t fix the problem. Some agents don’t understand their obligations; some agents understand them but ignore them, some tenants don’t know their rights, and (unfortunately) many tenants know their rights but are afraid to enforce them due to fear of reprisals.

    Most tenants simply want to enjoy their home environment and maintain a civil relationship with their agent. However, many tenants feel powerless and the market conditions, particularly for low–income tenants, generally dissuade them from exercising the rights that they have.

    What’s the solution?

    There is no easy solution to this complex problem. The TUV will continue to provide advice, education and advocacy for tenants regarding their rights and responsibilities.

    If real estate agents had a better knowledge of tenancy law then there should be fewer shonky property managers.

    At a minimum there should be a license requirement for estate agents to undergo Continuing Professional Development (CPD) relevant to the agent’s area of practice. So, if you are a property manager you have to keep up to date with the law and good industry practice relating to property management.

    Lots of other licensed professions have similar requirements.

    How can you help?

    1) Tell us your story

    Case studies about your experiences can help us to campaign for better tenancy laws and practices. We have lots of statistics based on our research and our advice work but your stories can add a strong ‘human’ voice to our evidence base. This can be very powerful when we are talking to politicians or the media about the issues that tenants face. It can also provide good examples of real problems when we are writing submissions or newsletters.

    We will never use your story in a way that could identify you unless you specifically give us your consent. Tell us your story.

    2) Make a complaint

    Complaints make the Government take notice of systemic problems. Consumer Affairs Victoria runs the Estate Agent Resolution Service (EARS) which deals with complaints about real estate agents. The service has been set up to help tenants who are in dispute with an agent. You can contact EARS on 1300 737 030. Also see Complaints about landlords and real estate agents.

    3) Tell the Minister

     
    The Hon. Marlene Kairouz MP
    Minister for Consumer Affairs
     
    You can tell the Minister that she should introduce compulsory professional development for real estate agents.
    Send an email via the form below. You can add to our message or write your own.

    Shonky real estate agents

    Dear Minister,
     
    I am concerned that Victoria doesn’t have a system of compulsory continuing professional development for real estate agents.
     
    In particular, the poor conduct of property managers has a significant effect on both the landlord and the tenant. Property managers should lift their game to reduce complaints and disputes.
     
    I am calling on you to implement compulsory continuing professional development relevant to each agent’s areas of practice as a condition of an estate agents license.
     
    Yours sincerely,

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    The Tenants Union of Victoria acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.