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REIQ Journal : March 2010
Five-star energy equivalence rating now applies to units As of 1 March 2010 all new units are required to be built to a ve-star (out of 10) energy equivalence rating. This follows the introduction of the star rating to new houses, townhouses and major renovations on 1 March 2009. A house's energy equivalence rating is determined by the design of its building envelope, or its 'shell'---roof, walls, windows and oors. The rating is out of 10 stars. More stars indicate a more energy e cient house that will remain comfortable with less need for cooling and heating. An energy equivalence rating does not take into consideration the xtures and appliances of a property, such as hot water systems, air-conditioners, lighting and fridges. Queensland's revised climate change strategy, ClimateQ: toward a greener Queensland will see the implementation of a six-star rating by the end of 2010. This will require all new houses, townhouses and major renovations to achieve six stars out of 10, with up to one star achieved through the inclusion of an outdoor living area. The minimum six-star energy equivalence rating will be regulated through a combination of the Queensland Development Code and the national Building Code of Australia. This policy will overrule restrictions in body corporate rules or in developer covenants to ensure sustainable features, xtures and ttings such as light roof colours, solar hot water systems and photovoltaic systems and window tinting can be installed or used. Requirements for minimum oor areas and a minimum number of garages will also be banned. Restrictions on the location of garages and living areas may also be encompassed by the proposed changes. For more information visit the Department of Infrastructure and Planning website www.dip.qld.gov.au. Real estate worker given 10 year ban A Surfers Paradise based resident letting agent has been banned from holding a licence for 10 years after being found guilty, in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, of acting as an agent without a licence. Minister for Fair Trading Peter Lawlor said Reegan Nancy Ropati acted as a resident letting agent for a number of Surfers Paradise holiday apartments between 2006 and 2008 despite not holding the appropriate licence. "In addition to this breach of Fair Trading law, Ms Ropati failed to gain approval from the appropriate sources to open a trust account which was used to hold deposits paid by renters," Mr Lawlor said. "Ms Ropati was also ned $1,000 and ordered to pay $745 in legal fees." Mr Lawlor said employees within the real estate industry were placed in a position of trust by vendors and should never take advantage of this position. "Queenslanders deserve to know they are dealing with reputable and licensed agents," he said. "This decision is a clear reminder to the real estate industry to act responsibly. "If an agent chooses to breach the law by deceiving their customers, they risk the loss of their licence, reputation and livelihood. "The legislation is there to protect businesses and clients, and must be complied with. Licensees caught doing the wrong thing will be penalised." Licensed resident letting agents are permitted to rent out and manage units in residential complexes on behalf of unit owners and body corporates, collect rent and operate trust accounts. Anyone with information about breaches of fair trading law should report it by calling 13 13 04 or going online at www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au. REIQ Journal March 2010 2 Industry News