The Department of Commerce is now recommending that agents provide a Property Interest Report to prospective buyers before they sign an Offer and Acceptance.
A Property Interest Report, previously known as an Interest Enquiry, is a comprehensive report containing information on Government interests over a particular parcel of land. Interests might include things such as the Emergency Services Levy or Dial Before You Dig.
The report contains information on 44 of the 80 legislated interests which may impact an owners’ use and enjoyment of land and property, and is intended to reduce the need to contact each Government department individually.
It’s the Department of Commerce’s view that the Property Interest Report helps agents to comply with the Code of Conduct for Agents and Sales Representatives 2011. The Code requires agents to exercise due skill, care, and diligence. It also requires that prior to the execution of a contract, an agent must make all reasonable efforts to ascertain and communicate facts material to a transaction.
According to the Department of Commerce’s e-bulletin:
“In seeking to ensure buyers are alert to material facts that might affect them, giving copies of this report to all serious prospective buyers will assist in complying with the obligations of the Code and lessen the prospect of misrepresentations that breach the Australian Consumer Law (WA).”
Further, the Department of Commerce suggests that agents should consider having prospective buyers “sign and date an acknowledgement when they have received a copy of the PI report. A copy of the acknowledgement can then be forwarded to the buyer’s settlement agent, with the original being retained in the agent’s sales file.”
Initially, the Department of Commerce believed that both real estate agents and settlement agents should provide buyers with the report, but they have changed their view and now recommend that the real estate agent provides the buyer with the report, prior to signing the contract.