Settlement agent licence fee refunds

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Property industry

Refunds will be considered with reference to the particular circumstances, and the requirements of the Settlement Agents Act 1981 (“the SA Act”) and associated Regulations.

Settlement Agent Licence applications and triennial certificate renewal applications

Licence and triennial certificate fee refunds

In accordance with section 114 of the SA Act, the Commissioner may in “special circumstances” refund the whole or part of any fee paid for a licence or triennial certificate (grant or renewal).

Application fees and fees for the grant of licences and triennial certificates, or for renewal of triennial certificates under the SA 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.

Fidelity Account contribution refunds

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 he was the holder of a current triennial certificate. Section 92(1) specifically states that:

Each person who makes application in any year for a licence or the renewal of a triennial certificate shall, in addition to all other fees payable in respect thereof, pay to the chief executive officer a sum of $150 or such other sum as the chief executive officer approves, and no such licence or renewal of a triennial certificate shall be issued until the appropriate payment has been made to the chief executive officer.

In accordance with section 92(3), any fidelity account contribution paid at the time of the application will be refunded if the licence or renewal application is not granted.

Holding fee refunds

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(3a) 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.

Surrendered licence and triennial certificate refund policy

A licensee who voluntarily surrenders a licence and triennial certificate, and who requests a refund, be provided a refund calculated in the same way as that prescribed for refunds of licence “holding fees” i.e. one third of the fee (excluding any contribution to the fidelity account) will be repaid for each year remaining in the term of the licence and triennial certificate.

Cancelled licence/triennial certificate refund policy

No refund is payable when a licence and/or triennial certificate has been cancelled by the State Administrative Tribunal, or subsequent Court decision.

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