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Refunds of licence fees will be considered with reference to the particular circumstances, and the requirements of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 (“the REBA Act”) and associated Regulations.
The Commissioner may in “special circumstances” refund the whole or part of any fee paid for a licence or triennial certificate (grant or renewal) or any sum paid to the Commissioner by way of contribution or levy to the Fidelity Account.
Application fees and fees for the grant of licences and triennial certificates, or for renewal of triennial certificates, under the REBA Act generally will not be refunded. If an error is identified early in the process, such as the application was made for an incorrect licence type, a refund will be considered.
The Fidelity Account contribution is in place for the purpose of reimbursing persons who may suffer pecuniary loss or loss of property by reason of any defalcation by a licensee during any period when they were the holder of a current triennial certificate. Regulation 10 specifically prescribes:
10. Unsuccessful applicant for licence etc., refund to (Act s. 113)
An amount paid to the chief executive officer under section 113 of the Act in respect of an application referred to in that section shall, where that application does not result in the grant or renewal of a licence, triennial certificate, or certificate of registration, be refunded to the applicant from the Fidelity Account.
In accordance with regulation 10, any Fidelity Account contribution paid at the time of the application will be refunded if the licence or renewal application is not granted.
A licensee who does not wish to renew a triennial certificate may, within 60 days after the triennial certificate expires, and triennially after that date, pay a “holding fee” in accordance with section 30(2a) of the Act, and regulation 4A.
This fee is prescribed under Schedule 1 of the Regulations. Regulation 4A specifically provides for the refund of a holding fee if a licensee elects to renew their triennial certificate, as follows:
(3) The Commissioner may refund to a licensee -
(a) two-thirds of the holding fee paid by the licensee if the licensee is granted a triennial certificate less than one year after paying the holding fee; or
(b) one-third of the holding fee paid by the licensee if the licensee is granted a triennial certificate one year or more, but less than 2 years, after paying the holding fee.
Holding fee payments will be refunded in accordance with regulation 4A.
A licensee who voluntarily surrenders a licence and triennial certificate, and who requests a refund, will be provided with a refund calculated in the same way as that prescribed for refunds of licence “holding fees” i.e. one third of the fee will be repaid for each year remaining in the term of the licence and triennial certificate.
No refund is payable when a licence and/or triennial certificate has been cancelled by the State Administrative Tribunal, or a court.
The REBA Act generally does not provide for the refund of any fees paid in respect of a sales representative registration or renewal except in special cirsumstances.