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REIQ boss departs after financial losses

Anton Kardash – the man behind the law that denies Queenslanders a price guide for property up for auction – is moving on.

The Real Estate Institute of Queensland has announced the departure of former CEO Anton Kardash, following years of financial loss.

Mr Kardash, previously the boss of Aged Care Queensland, has been in the top job at the institute since January, 2012.

The REIQ recorded losses exceeding $3 million for the 2012 and 2013 financial years combined, with a similar outcome expected in 2014.

In a statement released earlier in the week, the REIQ announced the appointment of Antonia Mercorella as acting CEO, but failed to provide reasons for Mr Kardash’s exit.  

A spokesman for the REIQ declined to comment on whether Mr Kardash’s departure was linked to disquiet among members, unhappy about his role in pushing through controversial new legislation.

The Property Occupations Bill 2013 – passed by parliament in May – threatens a $60,000 fine to agents who advertise a price guide for properties up for auction.

While the REIQ has positioned the bill as a positive move for the industry, some members of the institute have been displeased with the process, claiming they weren’t consulted.

“At the end of the day we had someone appointed who had never been in the industry,” said Toowoomba agent Rob Berry, who previously accused the institute of lobbying the Government without the support of its members.

While Mr Berry said he’s yet to determine the consequences of the bill, it was clear a change was needed within the institute. 

“If everything was going swimmingly (Mr Kardesh) would still be there.”

“If you want someone to put a posthole on a property you have to at least know how to dig a posthole yourself.”

According to property lawyer and real estate watch dog Tim O’Dwyer, the new act will make it more difficult for buyers who have changed their mind to get out of contracts and almost impossible to get out of done deals.

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