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Real estate agents can’t tell renters how to use their super: ASIC

  • July 16 2020
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Real estate agents can’t tell renters how to use their super: ASIC

By Grace Ormsby
July 16 2020

The corporate regulator has issued warnings to a number of real estate agents after it was revealed that some had been advising tenants to pay their rent by applying for early access to superannuation.

Real estate agents can’t tell renters how to use their super: ASIC

Real estate agents can’t tell renters how to use their super: ASIC

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  • July 16 2020
  • Share

The corporate regulator has issued warnings to a number of real estate agents after it was revealed that some had been advising tenants to pay their rent by applying for early access to superannuation.

Real estate agents can’t tell renters how to use their super: ASIC

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has revealed that it went after a number of real estate agents who were providing unlicensed advice to renters in the wake of the early super scheme – a program unveiled by the federal government as an early response to the COVID-19 crisis.

At a parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services public hearing on 15 July, the corporate regulator said it had followed up on 124 reports of real estate agents who had advised tenants to apply for early release of super to pay their rent.

ASIC said it was forced to take action on 13 occasions, issuing a warning to real estate agents that they must rectify their behaviour.

While the ASIC enforcement team had also “more intensely” scrutinised a number of other matters, it conceded there was unlikely to be further action.

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According to ASIC executive director for assessment and intelligence Warren Day, “The conduct isn’t continuing, and we’ve seen a huge amount of walk-back from real estate agents.”

In early April, ASIC had written a letter to the real estate institutes in each state to outline its concerns about some real estate agents who were advising tenants to apply for early release of their superannuation.

“Recent media reports and social media commentary outlining this conduct by some real estate agents is of significance to ASIC and, we would hope, you,” the letter said.

“Financial advice must only be provided by qualified and licensed financial advisers, or financial counsellors, not by real estate agents who neither hold the requisite licence nor are an authorised representative of an Australian financial services licensee.”

Real estate agents can’t tell renters how to use their super: ASIC
Real estate agents can’t tell renters how to use their super: ASIC
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About the author

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Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

About the author

Grace is a journalist on Momentum Media's nestegg. She enjoys being able to provide easy to digest information and practical tips for Australians with regard to their wealth, as well as having a platform on which to engage leading experts and commentators and leverage their insight.

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