To ensure businesses are correctly managing their trust accounts and help safeguard consumers against dodgy fraudsters, the NSW Office of Fair Trading has released a statement outlining changes to property trust accounts. From the 1st January 2015, property agents will need to obtain a unique number from NSW Fair Trading and provide it to the bank that holds your trust account. The official statement outlines the requirements below.
From 1 January 2015, under the Property Stock and Business Agents Regulation 2014:
A licensee who opens a general trust account must provide the authorised deposit-taking institution (bank) with a unique identifying number obtained from NSW Fair Trading.The authorised deposit-taking institution lodges its monthly returns using this unique identifying number.
Licensees maintaining a trust account as at 31 December 2014 have a grace period until 30 June 2015 to comply.You will be able to access unique identifying numbers for new and existing general trust accounts online through NSW Government Licensing Service (GLS).
GLS will provide licensees with the necessary form(s) to notify the authorised deposit-taking institution in writing that a new or existing general trust account has been registered, and a unique identifying number issued.
GLS will also notify NSW Fair Trading when a general trust account has been closed and provide the licensee with the form necessary to record the account closure details. The form should be retained by the licensee.
The trust accounting aspect of property management is important to get right, so make sure your books are in order and set a reminder for January 2015 to obtain your number from NSW Fair Trading.
For more info click here or visit http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/