Got legislative questions about the new payment platform? We understand – we’re shaking things up so there’s bound to be a few raised hands. Read on to hear what the OP management team has to say about our revolutionary platform.
What is OurProperty Payments?
OurProperty Payments is a sub-company of OurProperty and is a fully licenced corporate agency designed to replace the need for your agency to maintain a trust account.
The way OurProperty Payments works is that we have a real estate corporate agency licence per state, with a state-specific trust account that’s fully regulated and audited.
It is then OurProperty’s responsibility to manage and audit these state-specific trust accounts.
The OurProperty Difference
Other rent collection platforms in the real estate world are unregulated, and the legality of their processes are in doubt, certainly the protections afforded from a regulated account are not in place.
OurProperty, on the other hand, is a fully regulated trust account, compliant with all trust-related regulations in individual states across Australia.
One account per state, and a completely automated gateway with real-time tracing of all funds, means the audit process is simple, faster and more accurate than the old way of collecting rent.
There is less consumer risk compared to an office-based trust, and all funds are digitally traced from initial payment to disbursement.
How does it work?
OurProperty has a state-based payments company and separate trust account per state in Australia. We facilitate the functions of collecting and disbursing rental payments, so your agency no longer has to – you manage the process without ever having to hold the funds. Maximum control, minimum risk.
Your agency will still determine when and how funds are collected, and who and when they are disbursed to. The critical difference is that your agency no longer needs to take possession of the funds.
This means the OurProperty Payments settlement account becomes the account that falls under the regulations for the purpose of audit, and OurProperty has the responsibility for the management of that account in each state.
What about your old trust account?
Your agency can still choose to maintain a trust account, or use your sales trust, for the odd ad hoc payment.
Keep in mind, if you leave your rental trust account open, you will still need to audit it in the usual way, even if there are no transactions in a given period. The flip side – your audit costs reduce significantly as there is far less work required to audit an account with minimal transactions.
In Queensland we have a Qld Corporate Agency license (for the collection of rents) and we have a strictly regulated trust account with Westpac to facilitate collections, settlements and disbursements.
Bonds are lodged directly through the Bond Authority as per usual.
We are looking to work with the bond authority to make bond lodgements and disbursements simpler through the use of Application Programming Interfaces (API’s).
In New South Wales we currently have an application before the NSW Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for the grant of a license for the collections of rents.
Once approved, we will open our NSW trust account and begin onboarding our NSW offices. We anticipate this will commence by the end of March 2020.
We are also working with the OFT to establish a bonds management process similar to QLD.
In Victoria we have an application pending with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CaV) for the grant of a license for the collection of rents.
Once approved, we will open our VIC trust account and begin onboarding our VIC offices. We anticipate this will commence by the end of March, 2020.
We are also working with the CaV in regards to a bond process similar to QLD.
There are significant regulatory changes coming into play in Victoria on July 1st, 2020, and we already have a legal opinion that we are fully compliant with the new legislation (as advised by Jemmison Fisher).
We are also currently making enhancements to the rest of the OurProperty software to accommodate for a smooth transition of these new changes.
SA and WA Legislation
In South Australia and Western Australia we have similar applications pending for the grant of a licence to collect rental funds. Once this licence is granted we will be able to onboard SA and WA agencies.