Two property heavyweights have reiterated that real estate agents and property managers cannot advise tenants on how they should be paying their rent.
On a recent episode of What’s Making Headlines, Phil Tarrant and Tom Panos were discussing the revelation that ASIC had investigated more than 120 instances of real estate agents and property managers telling tenants to use the early access to superannuation scheme to pay their rental dues.
It had resulted in the issuing of 13 warnings by the corporate regulator to real estate agencies after a letter had initially been addressed to state real estate governing bodies.
Mr Panos said “what we clearly know is that if you’re employed in the real estate industry in the role of a property manager, it stops there.”
“It doesn’t move across the line to be giving financial advice to people, and now we clearly know that there’s been a number of people here that are being pulled up by the government on it,” he said.
ASIC’s executive director for assessment and intelligence Warren Day did note that there has been “a huge amount of [walk-back] from real estate agents”, with no need to follow up on the warnings.
But, SPI director Mr Tarrant highlighted that “the regulator is looking at this and they will continue to look at this, because what’s happening now is that a lot of people are drawing on their superannuation.”
The highlighting of the early access to the super issue also led Mr Tarrant to reflect on the superannuation scheme itself.
“While that might be quite a nice thing for immediate [cash flow] relief, you need to be thinking about, as people ourselves – and as workers – what 20, 30, 40 years ahead [looks like],” he warned.
“It is financial bias. Stay well away from it.”