Don’t land in trouble over search


ESTATE AGENCY PRACTITIONERS should carry out a land search in respect of the property and supply a copy of it to the purchaser or tenant immediately before a provisional agreement is entered into by the parties.
Otherwise, they may be subject to disciplinary action by the Estate Agents Authority.

A salesperson represented both the tenant and the landlord in a leasing transaction of a flat, and failed to provide a copy of the land search of the relevant property to the tenant immediately before the deal was entered into.

Also, part of the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement was covered when the salesman arranged for the tenant to sign the document. Moreover, though the salesman promised the tenant that he would submit the tenancy agreement for stamping and pay the stamp duty within 30 days after the agreement was signed, he failed to do so, as he only paid the stamp duty after two months.

Feeling angry, the tenant lodged a complaint against him.

The EAA Disciplinary Committee was of the view that the salesman failed to comply with the Estate Agents Practice (General Duties and Hong Kong Residential Properties) Regulation and paragraph 3.4.1 of the Code of Ethics, which stipulates that estate agents and salespersons, in engaging and accepting an appointment as an agent, should protect and promote the interests of their clients, carry out the instructions of their clients in accordance with the estate agency agreement, and act in an impartial and just manner to all parties involved in the transaction.

As a result, the salesman was reprimanded and fined $6,000.