New trust account law kicks in

New trust account law kicks in

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Real estate agencies’ new trust account responsibilities are in full swing, with licensees now requiring a unique identifying number (UIN).

As part of the revised Regulation introduced in 2014 under the New South Wales Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002, from 1 January 2015 all licensees opening a trust account in NSW must apply to the Office of Finance and Services for a UIN. Licensees then provide that number to the bank at the time of making the application to open the account.

“The introduction of the number is to ensure that banks are accountable for interest paid into the Statutory Interest Account and to safeguard consumer funds,” said the Real Estate Institute of NSW (REINSW).

“Licensees who already maintain a trust account as at 31 December 2014 have until 30 June 2015 to provide their bank with a unique identifying number.”

At the time the Regulation was updated, in September 2014, REINSW expressed concerns that the government had provided very limited information about the process involved in obtaining a UIN and the time frames involved. However, the institute supports the changes.

“This change, under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Regulation 2014, will support NSW Fair Trading officers in monitoring accounts and safeguarding consumer funds,” the REINSW said. 

Read more on the changes and how to comply with the new requirement at the NSW Fair Trading website.

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