A lot of people become confused at the point of making a complaint about a real estate agent. There has been a general confusion with the public understanding who the governing body is to real estate companies. There are generally two directions people may go when wanting to make a formal complaint, though most seem to push toward one, most likely because its name would suggest it be a governing body.
The Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) is a membership based company providing resources and training for real estate agents. If an agent is a member of the REIV and you were to make a complaint against that agent, it may be brought up against their membership, though they would not have any powers to sanction any form of penalties from a legal stand point. For the most part, the REIV provide agents with legally binding documents for us to do our jobs. They have a membership that forces agents to continually train and provide such training in house for agents to accumulate their CPD points.
The governing body for real estate agents is Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV). The Business Licensing Authority (BLA) is who we receive our Agent License from and where we go to submit all agents and agent representatives to be displayed on the public register. The BLA is part of CAV and the main point of contact is CAV. This is the government body that protects consumers of all sorts. From retail purchasing through to buying houses, this is where you go when somethings gone wrong.
While most turn to the REIV for help, as it seems to come across as the place to go, they will be forwarded to go to CAV for any serious matters. Once you lodge a complaint through CAV, an investigation will begin on the agent and agency and if found in the wrong, penalties from fines to jail can be sanctioned through the court system.
The following advice is of a general nature and intended as an opinion and broad guide. For all legal, financial or real estate advice you should obtain independent professional advice to do with the specific nature of your circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions.