Before entering into an agreement the Agent must ensure they are working with the Owner of the property and must abide by the Law in confirming ownership. This is due to two highly publicised incidents in September 2010 and March 2011 which resulted in properties being sold in Western Australia without the knowledge and consent of the lawful Owners.
In both instances Real Estate Agents were contacted by the fraudsters who were acting as the true Owners. The properties were Tenanted and Managed by a Real Estate Agent on behalf of the registered Owner. The fraudsters contacted the Agent, pretended to be the Owners and notified them of new contact details which are now a Legal Requirement when verifying property ownership and description before acting as detailed in the Conduct Standards.
Property Occupations Regulations 2014 Part 5 Conduct Standards
19 Finding out or verifying property ownership and description
- Before Auctioning property, an Auctioneer appointed to sell the property must take reasonable steps to find out or verify the ownership of the property and property description.
- Before listing property for sale, lease or exchange a Real Estate Agent/Salesperson must take reasonable steps to find out or verify the ownership of the property and property description.