Chapters

Pawnbrokers

Pawnbroking in Tasmania is governed by the Second Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1994 (Tas). A pawnbroker is a person who carries on the business of lending money on the security of an article taken by the person by way of pawn, pledge or as security.

To be able to operate as a pawnbroker, a person is required to give at least one month’s notice in writing of intention to do so to the officer in charge of the police station (s4(2)). The notice must specify the full name, address, date of birth of the applicant and the address of the premises, which propose to carry on that business (s4(3)). The commissioner must be satisfied the applicant is a fit and proper person as approved by the Police and have never been convicted of an offence against the Act or an offence involving dishonesty (s4(5)).

A pawnbroker must not lend to children under 14 or to someone who is drunk (s8(3)).

Pawnbrokers must not receive any goods in the course of business unless the customer produces documentary proof of identity showing his/her correct name and address (s9). Pawnbroker must keep a record of all gods received stating the date of pawn and the date on which the good were redeemed (s10(1)). Pawnbroker must, at the time of taking any goods in pawn, give to the person pawing the goods a notice signed by the pawnbroker specifying the rate of interest payable on the money lent and the total amount of interest payable on redemption of the goods pawned and the date before which the goods pawned may be redeemed.

If pawnbroker has reasonable cause to suspect that the goods are stolen goods, he or she must immediately inform the police or arrest and detain the person offering the goods or seize and detain the goods (s15). Pawnbroker who exercise a power of arrest or seizure must take the necessary action to have the person or goods delivered into the custody of a police office as soon as possible.

If the item is not reclaimed by repaying the money within 6 months (or such longer period as is specifically agreed) it will be forfeited to the pawnbroker and may be sold (s14(1)). It is illegal to agree to a shorter period than 6 months. It is illegal to sell the item before the expiry of the redemption period (s14(2)).

If an item is forfeited and the loan to which it related was more than $100, the item must be sold by auction, notice in writing must be given to the person who is entitle to redeem the goods 14 days before the sale.

If the sale price exceeds the amount owing by the customer, the customer can apply to be paid the excess within 6 months of the sale (s14(5)).

A pawnbroker must keep a record of the sale in a prescribed form in Second Hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Regulations 2006 (Tas) (s14(3)).

Sale of Motor Vehicles

Sale of motor vehicles by dealers is regulated by the Motor Vehicle Traders Act 2011 (Tas).

Energy and Water Supply

Sale of electricity, gas, water and sewerage services in the Tasmania is regulated by the Electricity Supply Industry Act 1995 (Tas)Gas Act 2000 (Tas)Water and Sewerage Industry Act 2008 (Tas).

Industry Codes of Practice

Under Part 4 of the Australian Consumer Law 2010 (Tas), codes of practice for various activities can be established. Some of these relate to consumers. There are codes of practice for the fitness industry, cemeteries and crematoria, drinking water, sexual services, driving instruction and pet grooming. A consumer of these services can complain to the Director of the Consumer Affair and Fair Trading if not satisfied with the services. The Director may apply to the magistrate for an order if it appears to him/her that a person has contravened the code of practice (s39).

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