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Property investment advice should be regulated

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The Royal Commission has highlighted the need for property investment advice regulation, amidst the myriad revelations of dodgy operators and unsound financial advice, according to the Property Investment Professionals of Australia (PIPA).

While planners are subject to regulation, the provision of property investment advice generally remains a free-for-all, according to PIPA chairman Peter Koulizos. In fact, anyone can set up shop as a property investment “adviser” without any qualifications whatsoever.

“While professionals such as buyers’ agents, property accountants and mortgage brokers operate within regulated environments, property investment advice does not,” Koulizos said.

“Not many Australians understand that, which is why so many continue to be the victims of property investment ‘advice’ from unscrupulous fly-by-nighters.

“Over the years, we’ve heard about Aussies losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because they trusted someone who was only concerned with lining their back pockets.”

PIPA has been campaigning for years to bring property investment advice into a proper regulatory framework, so far without much success.

Without regulation, scores of ordinary Aussies will continue to be at risk of following “advice” that was anything but.

“Until such a time as the government takes regulation of property investment advice seriously, PIPA will continue to provide the public with warnings about only working with ethical and professional industry practitioners,” Koulizos said.

“PIPA has developed codes of ethics and conduct, which all of our members voluntarily agree to abide with, as well as professional standards of accreditation and education for the property investment industry, including a Property Investment Adviser Accreditation Course.”

The association’s code of conduct also requires members to disclose commissions to their clients, as well as to always act in their best interests.

“PIPA offers investors confidence in a marketplace where trust is so lacking.”

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