A guide for the real estate industry to help it understand the benefits and responsibilities associated with the Trade Practices Act 1974, has been issued by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Real Estate Institute of Australia.
The guide is written for owners, managers and advisers to the real estate industry and provides examples relevant to the industry. It includes an easy to understand summary which outlines the "do's and don'ts" for the industry. There are also details on how to contact the ACCC when seeking further information or wanting to make a complaint or provide information.
"The ACCC believes all small businesses involved in real estate should be fully informed about their rights and responsibilities under the Trade Practices Act", ACCC Commissioner, Mr John Martin, said today. "Fair and square has been especially written for the real estate, in consultation with the industry. It uses examples to illustrate familiar market situations where the Act applies to real estate agents.
"The Act encourages a fair and competitive environment for efficient and innovative small businesses. It prohibits anti-competitive mergers, cartels, the misuse of market power, market sharing and price fixing - which often harms the operations of small businesses.
"Small businesses are also protected by the Act's unconscionable conduct provisions and by the Franchising Code of Conduct.
"In the highly competitive real estate market, it is sometimes tempting to cut corners in an effort to 'go one better' than a competitor. Knowing their rights and obligations under the Act will help those in the real estate industry to be professional in their dealings with other businesses and avoid problems", Mr Martin said.
Fair and square ($10) is available from the ACCC Publishing Unit, 02 6243 1143, or from the ACCC website, www.accc.gov.au. It will soon be available from the REIA website, www.reiaustralia.com.au.
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