The Do Not Call Register

The Do Not Call Register laws are federal laws that came into effect on 31 May 2007.

The laws apply to anyone making a telemarketing call to a private Australian phone number (including private mobile phones) regardless of where the call is being made from, and any organisation commissioning such calls to be made on their behalf.

What are telemarketing calls?

These calls are defined as a voice call which is made for the purpose to offer, supply, provide, advertise or promote:

  • Goods or services;
  • Land or an interest in land;
  • A business or investment opportunity; or
  • Solicitation of donations

Can a real estate agent/salesperson call people that are listed on their databases even if they are on the Do Not Call Register?

Yes, but only if they have express or inferred consent. Agents cannot make a call to a person who is listed on the Do Not Call Register without their consent.

What is inferred consent?

Inferred consent is taken when a business relationship exists between the caller and the individual. Based on this business relationship, there is a reasonable expectation by the caller that an agent will be contacting them.

What is express consent?

Express consent is where an individual has provided a clear directive that they would like to receive phone calls from a real estate agent or agency. It is important to note that if there is express consent, it only lasts for three months, unless otherwise specified.

Evidential burden rests with the real estate agent to prove that consent was obtained

In the event of a complaint by a consumer, the real estate agent has the burden of establishing a reasonable probability that consent had been provided.

A consumer can withdraw their consent at any time by contacting the business directly or advising the agent at the time of making a telemarketing call.

For more information, visit the Do Not Call website at donotcall.gov.au and the ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) website at acma.gov.au for fact sheets and additional information. 

By Antonia Mercorella, General Counsel, REIQ