Starting from 1 September 2021, the Property and Stock Agents Regulation 2014 (the Regulation) has been amended to prescribe a new material fact that agents must disclose to prospective property buyers.
The Property and Stock Agents Amendment (Material Facts Disclosure) Regulation 2021 requires agents to disclose, as a material fact, when one of the following orders, within the meaning of the Residential Apartment Buildings (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020, is in force in relation to the property:
- a building work rectification order,
- a prohibition order, or
- a stop-work order.
Real estate agents can look up RAB Act orders which are published on the Fair Trading website here:
This is an important clarification for the property services industry as the existence of an order in force under the RAB Act could be very important to a consumer’s decision on whether to purchase a property within that building.
There was previously some uncertainty in the industry about whether real estate agents were required to disclose RAB Act orders to prospective purchasers. To put the issue beyond doubt, the Regulation has been amended.
Agents who are aware of a material fact set by the regulations, or ought reasonably to know, and fail to inform prospective purchasers (whether intended or not), face a maximum penalty of $22,000.
NSW Fair Trading will continue its compliance and enforcement role to ensure real estate agents are meeting their disclosure obligations to buyers. This will include targeted audits of agents who are selling properties where RAB orders have been issued.
Improving communication with industry on COVID and other issues
The Hon Kevin Anderson MP, Minister for Better Regulation, has established a Property Services Expert Panel as a new forum for two-way communication and collaboration between the property services industry and the NSW Government.
Real Estate Industry Partners is represented on the Expert Panel by Sadhana Smiles who is at the table to raise issues affecting the property services sector directly with the Government.
This has been especially important recently in making sure the impact of COVID-19 Public Health Orders on your industry is communicated clearly through the Panel, and the Government is able to respond quickly to concerns Sadhana and others have raised.
Information on the most recent Public Health Order rules is at www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19.