Property developer publications - Registration of principal place of business and obligations facts sheet

This publication is for: 
DeveloperProperty industry

Who needs to complete this form

Developers are required to register their principal place of business with the Commissioner for Consumer Protection (the Commissioner) for as long as the business is carried out. This is a requirement under the Registration Requirements Section 57 of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 (the Act).

What do I need to complete this application

To register your principal place of business, you must complete the application form and provide all relevant supporting documentation as follows:

  • complete all of the relevant sections of the application form
  • provide a current email address
  • provide all employed sales representatives' details, including name, registration and contact details
  • If there is insufficient space on the form, please attach a page giving full details, as above. 

Lodging your application

The fees and forms page contains further details about:

  • how to lodge your application;
  • relevant fees; 
  • other licensing forms; and 
  • how to contact us

Who is a developer? 

Property developer is a broad term that includes those involved in sub-dividing land, building and selling property off-the-plan, renovating for resale or knocking down and rebuilding houses.

Under the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978 (the REBA Act), a developer is a person whose business (either alone or as part of any other business) is to act on their own behalf in the sale, exchange, or other disposal of real estate. A developer therefore is a person whose business is to sell, exchange or dispose of their own land or property.

Legal requirements

Property developers do not need a specific license to operate in Western Australia, unlike real estate agents and sales representatives. However, if you are undertaking a property development on a business basis you are required to do the following:

  • Register a principal place of business:
    • All developers must register a principal place of business in writing with the Commissioner. This must be done by the day of, or the day after, commencing business and the registration must be in place for as long as the business operates. The REBA Act requires developers to list a principal place of business in Western Australia; this is usually your head office or the location where your business records are maintained. If there is a change of address, written notice must be given immediately to the Commissioner. It is free to register and registration forms are available from the website at:
  • Keep accurate records and supply true copies: 
    • Developers must keep records of all their real estate transactions. Records need to be appropriately detailed, properly stored and retained for a minimum of six years. Details on transactions such as the sale, exchange, purchase or acquisition of real estate as well as the collection of rent or payment for use/occupation of the property need to be handled in this way. When selling property, developers should also ensure they supply signatories with copies of any signed offer, acceptance, contract, or any similar documents relating to the property negotiation or transaction.
  • Handle property sales:
    • A developer can either sell the property themselves, or contract a licensed real estate agent to sell the property. An employee of the developer cannot undertake this task unless they are also a licensed real estate agent holding a current triennial certificate or a registered sales representative with a current certificate of registration issued by Consumer Protection.
  • Comply with consumer protection laws:
    • Developers, like all businesses in Australia, must also comply with the requirements of the Australian Consumer Law when selling to a consumer. This includes ensuring that any property sold, rented or leased is safe and matches any description given. Developers also have to guarantee the property:
      • is sold with clear title, unless buyers were informed otherwise before the sale;
      • is fit for any disclosed purpose – for instance the property can be used for the purpose the buyer was told;
      • is sold with a right to undisturbed possession – the seller promises no-one has a legal right to the property or can prevent the buyer from using the property;
      • does not have any undisclosed securities – the goods do not have any hidden securities or charges; and
      • matches any demonstration model or sample shown.

Developers are not required under the REBA Act to place deposits in a statutory trust account; however they must take care to ensure any deposits paid are adequately safeguarded. It may be prudent to seek independent legal advice on this matter.

A developer is also responsible for authorising the publication of advertisements in respect of the business. The advertisement must contain sufficient detail to identify the developer including their trading name and office telephone number.

Consumer Protection
Form – application
Last updated 29 Jun 2018

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