From 15 August 2016, real estate agents are required to keep records of property inspection reports, including strata or community scheme reports, of which they are aware. They must disclose that information to potential purchasers when they request a copy of the sale contract.
These requirements are part of the amendments to the Property, Stock and Business Agents Regulation 2014.
The following questions and answers explain the new requirements. For an introduction to this reform, refer to our Property reports and commercial exemption reforms page.
Agents also need to refer to our Pre-purchase property inspection reports page.
Any pre-purchase building inspection report (usually AS 4349), pest and termite inspection report, or an inspection of owners corporation records or a strata certificate, or an inspection of community scheme records.
There are a number of ways an agent may know if a report had been prepared:
The agent is only required to keep records of reports of which they are aware or that can be reasonably obtained. They would not be liable if another party withheld information about the existence of any reports, or failed to provide accurate information about them.
Agents will not be expected to make exhaustive enquires to find out if any reports have been completed. For example, agents may know about reports if they have been asked to help arrange for them, or if a vendor has provided the agent with details of competed reports.
If an agent seeks information from a vendor or an inspector but they refuse to provide it, then the agent has already made a reasonable attempt to obtain those details. Agents could consider noting any refusal by relevant parties to provide this information.
The records will need to include (if known):
No, they are not obliged to provide this information.
No, agents will not have to keep copies of any reports.
As with other records, these records will need to be kept for three years.
No, agents can keep and provide the records in any form they choose.
This is a once off disclosure at the point in time a prospective buyer asks for a copy of the sale contract. An agent would not have to disclose to that prospective buyer the details of any subsequent reports.
If a prospective home buyer requests a copy of the contract for the sale of the property then, regardless of whether or not they request any information about reports, the agent must disclose the information recorded about the reports.
If a prospective home buyer who has not requested a copy of the sale contract asks about any reports, the agent is not obligated to provide that information, but may do so if they wish.
The author of the report is responsible for its content. Agents are not responsible for checking the content of the report.
Yes, these are the same as for any other failure to comply with other record-keeping requirements - up to $4,400 for a corporation and $2,200 in any other case.