The new “Material Fact” regime is so much better then what we had. The amendments to Section 52 of the Property and Stock Agents Act 2002 (“The Act”) codified the meaning of “Material Fact”. Whilst before we had to guess, The Act identifies only 7 facts that are now considered as “Material Fact”.
Clause 54 of the Regulations set out these 7 factors. This clause requires agents to disclose the following:
- whether there has been a flood or fire in the area in the past 5 years;
- whether the property has health or safety issues;
- whether the property is on the asbestos register;
- whether a murder or manslaughter has occurred in the property in the past 5 years;
- whether the property has been the scene of drug manufacture, harvesting or supply;
- whether the building has combustible cladding; or
- whether the local council has made an order requiring the owner or owner’s corporation to remove the cladding.
Fair Trading in its infinite wisdom has compelled us to address you for an hour on “Material Fact”. Leverage is conducting this training regularly. Initially we thought, “not this again”, but the legislation does require you as agents to do certain things. I thought it was important to teach agents about:
- the impact of these changes on the business of agents;
- what does the Section mean;
- what knowledge must you have;
- what is expected of an agent; and
- we may have also included a couple of tools.
The Act is better, but with everything, questions remain.