New codes of conduct for WA’s property industry
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New codes of conduct for real estate agents and sales representatives, settlement agents and land valuers come into effect today (5 October 2016), increasing transparency for people buying or selling property in Western Australia.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the new codes were developed following detailed consultation between the regulator - Consumer Protection - and industry, including representatives from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, the Australian Institute of Conveyancers (WA) and the Australian Property Institute.
Mr Mischin said the new codes fitted with the Liberal National Government's commitment to support industry best practice while protecting consumers.
"Consumer Protection created new, modern codes to make it easier for industry members to read and understand their duties and obligations to people buying or selling property in WA," he said.
"Updated disclosure requirements under the codes will mean greater transparency in property transactions for consumers and market participants."
Under the 'Real Estate and Business Agents and Sales Representatives Code of Conduct 2016,' property sellers will receive the real estate agent's opinion as to market price in writing, along with reasons to support that opinion. In addition, agents will be required to communicate all offers to clients and not just those made in writing.
The 'Settlement Agents Code of Conduct 2016' will prevent settlement agents from acting for both the buyer and seller in certain circumstances where one of the parties may be unfairly prejudiced.
Under the 'Land Valuers Code of Conduct 2016' licensed valuers will be required to complete valuation work within a reasonable time and in accordance with the client's reasonable instructions.
The Minister said all codes now specified the need to disclose any fee or reward for referring clients to a third party service provider, such as a lawyer.
"The additions in the new codes will enhance the high level of service agents already provide to their clients," he said.
- Compulsory training has already started in relation to the changes for settlement agents, real estate agents and sales representatives. Industry has two months from 5 October 2016 to fully comply.
- For more information, visit http://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumer-protection/property-industry
Media contact: Rosalie Cobai, Minister's office - 6552 5600
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