Practical tips about the top ten thematic topics that smart consumers should pay attention to during property transactions or appointing estate agents.
Land Search Records
Providing accurate property information to a client is an important duty of an estate agent. He should obtain the information from the prescribed sources and complete the Property Information Form when handling residential property transactions.
The Estate Agents Practice (General Duties and Hong Kong Residential Properties) Regulation states that an estate agent must carry out a land search immediately before the signing of the agreement for sale and purchase (including provisional agreement for sale and purchase) or tenancy agreement and supply a copy to the buyer or tenant.
From the land search records of a property, buyers can ascertain the property owner’s identity and whether the property is subject to any encumbrances, such as mortgage, demolition or alteration order or slope maintenance order.
If a demolition or alteration order is registered against a property, it implies that the property may have unauthorized structures. Buyers may face issues such as safety risks and defective title of the property. The Government may even exercise its right of re-entry or closure of the property.