From 1 July 2013, the responsibility for handling unclaimed trust money was transferred from NSW Fair Trading to Revenue NSW.
The Unclaimed Money Act 1995 (the Act) now applies to unclaimed money held in a trust account under the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002. According to the Act, trust money is considered unclaimed if it has been held by a licensee for more than two years in a trust account. This applies to all amounts of money.
A licensee must make reasonable efforts to locate the owner of any money and failure to do so could attract a penalty of up to $5,500.
Money held in a trust account by a former licensee or the personal representative of a deceased licensee is unclaimed money and must be returned to the Revenue NSW within three months after the person ceased to be a licensee or became a personal representative. Failure to comply can attract up to 50 penalty units ($5,500) and up to 5 penalty units ($550) for each day after it was required to comply.
What to do with unclaimed trust money
All returns and payments should be made to the Chief Commissioner Revenue NSW, and not to Fair Trading. Visit the unclaimed money page of the Revenue NSW website for more information.