New rules to be introduced to the Victorian Parliament will prevent real estate agents from concealing the history of a property from buyers.
The agents will be required to reveal known information, including whether the property was once a site of a murder or if it was used for the manufacturing of illicit substances.
According to the new rules, agents should disclose all facts related to the property, even the unfavourable, regardless of whether the potential buyer enquires. Currently, the rules only require vendors and agents to disclose information about the property which the buyer asks for.
In addition, real estate agents who are ‘concealing material facts’ regarding the property – including the presence of materials such as asbestos – will have committed a much stronger offence. The government will set and produce guidelines for vendors and agents to make clear the nature of material facts.
Those who are found to conceal knowledge from buyers could the penalty of fines from $8,000 up to $19,000 and even a 12-month prison term if ‘material facts’ are concealed.