Starting 15 August 2016, Real Estate Agents have disclosure requirements related to pre-purchase property inspection reports. The concept is for these requirements to make it easier, and potentially cheaper, for a prospective home buyer to obtain pre-purchase building and pest inspection reports, and strata, neighbourhood or community scheme reports.
The agent is required to make a record of the following property inspection reports, but they only need to provide this information when the prospective buyer asks for the Sale Contract for the property.
• a building inspection report
• a pest inspection report
• a strata/community/neighbourhood inspection report
• a section 109 Certificate under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996
The information required to be kept includes:
• the date on which the inspection was conducted
• who requested the report
• who prepared the report and their contact details
• whether the report author has professional indemnity insurance
• whether the report is available for re-purchase.
The following points are relevant to these requirements:
1. The agent is only required to keep records of reports that they are aware of – they are not required to make exhaustive enquiries to discover whether reports have been done,
2. No other parties, such as the vendor, the purchaser or the inspector have an obligation to tell the agent that the report exists,
3. Agents do not have to have a copy of the report itself,
4. The disclosure obligation of the agent arises only at the time the Purchaser asks for a copy of the Contract for Sale.