Rise in estate agent complaints

The number of complaints made about real estate agents in New South Wales rose dramatically last year, according to figures from the Office of Fair Trading. In 2003, 173 complaints were made each month compared with 115 in 2002. The increase was mainly due to a rise in complaints about misleading and deceptive conduct, a doubling of complaints about unlicensed or unregistered agents and more claims of gazumping and overcharging. However, the NSW Fair Trading Minister Reba Meagher said the new Property, Stock and Business Agents Act is a suitably strong deterrent. This view was endorsed by the Real Estate Institute.