We have reported the pending demise of the PAMDA monster on dozens of occasions in these pages.

Despite its wounds the beast has survived and even now still lurks in wait.

The monster was de-fanged of its very worst venom with the abolition in October 2010 – a full 10 years after its terrorising reign began – of the hideous ‘paperclip’ and ‘document order’ rules. Yet – as predicted – it simply grew other heads. Since then there have been many measures, which put the death of the despised animal within grasp, but which seriously underestimated the effort and resources needed to strangle all life from the beast.

Finally this week – following two enquiries, countless promises and an election – the Property Occupations Bill was passed and will come into law to repeal PAMDA within the next few months.

There is pain yet and cost too, in re-tooling to accommodate the simplifications that the new legislation brings but it is an immediate antidote to the suffocating bite that has cost Queensland’s real estate and development industries billions over the past 14 years.

Exactly how much day to day property practice will change, won’t become clear until the regulations – they have not yet been drafted – are revealed. Contained in the regulations will be a new set of forms that we must all quickly familiarise ourselves with and deploy across our businesses.

Most significantly of course, the warning statement ritual is gone forever.

Henceforth, a simple clear one paragraph statement can be incorporated into contracts and the “drawing attention” requirement is gone. Likewise for the BCCM form 14.

A single form can accomplish agency appointments – regardless of the appointment’s purpose. The absurd requirement of the current 22a to state “how services are to be performed”, is gone as is the need to draw attention to the self-evident difference between an open listing and exclusive agency.

A lawyer’s certificate is no longer be needed to waive a cooling-off period; for options, no repetition of warning statements will be required at the time of exercise; and a common-sense change to the definition of “residential property” for determining when the warning statement etc rules apply.

Disclosure of the type required by the existing form 27C of an agent’s relationships and benefits it may receive from referrals etc, as well as all payments to persons involved in the sales process, is still a requirement but – like many of the above changes – major consequences to real estate practice may result from even subtle changes to  in the yet unseen forms.

The removal of the millstone after 14 years will be very welcome. Let’s hope the Minister can get it done before any more PAMDA tragedies occur.

There’s more for sure to be told though on the PAMDA story. Who were its architects? What was the real motivation? Better consumer protection will result from the mere 45 words that comprise the new warning, than the absurd and wasteful mess they dreamed up. Not wanting to promote any conspiracy theories, but someone has the answers to these questions. The answers of who and why, still need to be told.

 

 


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