Sometimes persistence pays off

Last week Victoria moved to join Queensland in exempting large commercial property owners from its real estate licensing regime, saving members $2.6 million every year. It's a change the Property Council and the Shopping Centre Council have been pursuing for nearly two decades.

It's a victory for common sense, even if it is a while coming.

Licensing was enacted early last century to protect families when engaging suburban real estate agents. These exemptions recognise that large commercial property owners don't need legislative protections when dealing with their managers and agents.

What licensing does bring these owners is compliance costs, and lots of it, imposing obligations which are irrelevant to companies managing modern commercial real estate portfolios.

The changes have no effect on residential property, no impact on tenants and will only affect around 400 buildings in Victoria.

Despite this, the Victorian Opposition announced yesterday they’ll review this decision if they win Government in late November.

Any review will highlight the strong industry support and sense in pursuing this measure.