The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (16:21): This bill will provide the vehicle to register property managers. Currently, only real estate agents and their staff who require or dispose of commercial property on their behalf need to be registered. There is no requirement for property managers to be registered. Registration will ensure that registered property managers have the prerequisite skills and knowledge to undertake the task. Those who operate unregistered will be liable to penalties under the act. Offences relating to trust accounts will be extended to apply to all who deal with trust money rather than just real estate agents. The commissioner will also have the ability to take action against these people.
I understand part of the impetus for this bill was due to the number of complaints about property managers from consumers. I am glad the government is responding to this as, over the years, I have received quite a number of complaints about property managers; however, in the vast majority of cases, the property manager has been the government, as the complaints are from Housing Trust tenants. I have had countless constituents contact me, dissatisfied that it has taken weeks or even months for Housing SA to respond to maintenance issues, and I would be grateful if the minister could advise how these changes will impact Housing SA and community housing organisations. Will their staff have to undertake training courses to be licensed?
Whilst not directly related, can the minister advise if the government is considering similar reforms for strata managers? I have also received a number of complaints about strata managers who do not seem to understand their obligations under the Strata Titles Act. It seems this is also an area where a registration scheme could improve the public's confidence in the industry, and I would be interested to hear whether this is something the government is considering.
Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. J.E. Hanson.