Licence class and categories to be the Licensee-In-Charge?| ACOP
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Do you have the correct licence class and categories to be the Licensee-In-Charge?

 

Licensee-In-Charge

A Licensee-In-Charge of an agency is an individual who either:

  • carries on business under a Class 1 licence, or
  • is employed to be in charge of a business under section 31 of the Act.

A LIC is responsible for the proper supervision of the business of which they are in charge, and must hold a Class 1 licence in the category relevant to the business. For example, a LIC of a real estate agency will need to hold a Class 1 real estate agent’s licence. This means if your agency offers services in real estate (residential, commercial, industrial and retail property) and also in stock & station (rural land and livestock), then the LIC needs to hold both a Class 1 Real Estate licence and also a Class 1 Stock & Station licence. Naturally, this is the same if an agency is offering strata management services, the LIC needs to hold a Class 1 Strata Management licence.

Even if a licence holder who is employed or contracted to the agency holds a licence category that the LIC does not hold, that agency cannot offer those services unless the LIC holds those specific licence categories.

This transfers to the functions offered by Assistant Agents. An Assistant Agent can only offer services in the same categories for which the LIC holds a Class 1 licence.

Corporations or individuals who wish to run a business and only hold a Class 2 licence, will need to employ a Class 1 licence holder to be the Licensee-In-Charge (LIC) of their business.

What if the LIC is absent from the office?

If the LIC has taken holidays or is absent due to illness, an alternate Class 1 licence holder needs to take on the functions of the LIC. Section 31 of the Act requires any individual or corporation who employs the holder of a Class 1 licence to be the LIC, to notify the Secretary of NSW Fair Trading of the licence details of the replacement LIC.

This notification to the Secretary must include the name and licence number of the person in charge and the address of each place of business for which the LIC will be in charge, or any changes to the person who is in charge of the business. The notification (via email to propertylicensing@customerservice.nsw.gov.au) must be received within 5 business days of the alternate licence holder assuming duties as a LIC. The email to NSW Fair Trading will detail the issue in relation to the absence of the LIC and identify the period of absence expected by the nominated LIC.

If a LIC is temporarily or permanently unable to carry out their duties due to illness, leave or any other reason, the principal licensee must appoint another Class 1 licence holder as a replacement. It is essential that this replacement LIC holds the same categories of licence as does the nominated LIC who they are replacing. If they do not hold the same categories of licence, they will need to restrict the activities of the agency to the functions covered by their licence categories, for the period that they are the replacement LIC.

An agency must appoint a replacement LIC in the absence of the nominated LIC, in order for authority to be given for the disbursement of trust monies and also for the general supervision of the functions of the agency.

In summary, the key requirements when appointing a LIC are:

  • a LIC must hold a Class 1 Agent licence in a category relevant to the business of which they are in charge
  • no part of the business can be left unsupervised by a LIC
  • a LIC can be in charge of an entire business, or there may be several LICs in charge of different parts of the business
  • there cannot be more than one LIC in charge of one part of the business, but one LIC can supervise multiple parts of the business
  • only a LIC can authorise the withdrawal of funds from general trust accounts
  • only one LIC can authorise the withdrawal of funds from each trust account
  • if a nominated LIC is not available, NSW Fair Trading must be notified of the replacement LIC within 5 business days

 

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