Deregulation of fees for land valuers - Land valuers bulletin issue 20 (January 2016)
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25 January 2016
From Wednesday 3 February 2016, regulation of the fees will cease and land valuers will be able to charge clients based on their own estimation of the costs and complexity of the work.
A new fee disclosure provision will also be included in the Land Valuers Code of Conduct. This is to ensure that consumers can make fully informed decisions about fees.
The Department expects the new provision will reinforce current good business practice, whereby land valuers already outline their fees and charges to clients prior to undertaking the work.
Under this new rule, land valuers must disclose to their client in writing, the maximum costs they will be charging for their services. Land valuers have the discretion to make this disclosure whenever they like, provided that it occurs prior to commencing any valuation work.
Land valuers can choose what format to disclose maximum costs in and also whether they provide a breakdown of individual items in order to provide greater transparency for their clients.
The reference to a “maximum amount” rather than an “amount” gives the land valuer the option of charging less than the amount originally disclosed.
The maximum amount disclosed to clients must include all fees, charges and disbursements payable for the licensed valuer’s service.
If the licensed valuer has made a costs disclosure to a client under this new rule then the valuer is entitled to receive for that service:
- a reward that does not exceed the amount disclosed to the client in that costs disclosure; or
- reward that exceeds the amount disclosed to the client in that costs disclosure if —
- there is an unforeseen significant change in the scope of the work required to provide the service; and
- the licensed valuer informs the client in writing of that change; and
- the client agrees to the licensed valuer continuing to provide the service; and
- the reward that exceeds the amount disclosed is reasonable having regard to that change.
Further information on the current fee practices is available on the Department’s Fees – land valuers webpage. An updated of the webpage will occur following the deregulation of the fees in February 2016.
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