New resource video and the five guiding principles of disclosure

We cover off the five basic guiding principles of disclosure and introduce you to our new educational resource video to help you better navigate a disclosure situation.

Disclosure is one of the most common types of complaint REA receives, and we want you to be better equipped to handle disclosure situations.

While each disclosure case is unique and should be approached separately, there are still basic guiding principles in relation to disclosure that you should familiarise yourself with.

Disclosure should be in writing

While written disclosure isn’t mandatory, it is best practice and can help you avoid disputes later down the line. Things you should include in a written disclosure are:

  • what you are disclosing
  • who are you disclosing this to
  • the date you are making this disclosure.
Disclosure must be clear and specific

The information you disclose should be clear, detailed, specific and made directly to the individuals involved.

Discussing an issue in a prospective buyer’s presence, sending a mass email or providing documentation without specifically referring to the relevant part does not relieve you of your disclosure obligation.

One size doesn’t fit all

There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ strategy when it comes to disclosure. This is especially true when you are dealing with buyers who may have no local knowledge or no knowledge of a problem and aren’t able to evaluate what you may assume is an obvious sign of a problem.

Do your homework BEFORE making a representation on a property

Prior to making any positive representations about a property, make sure you have taken precautions to check that the information you will disclose is accurate.

You are responsible to identify whether a property may be subject to a hidden or underlying defect

Responsibility to identify potential risks lies with you, the licensee. The liability does not sit with the vendor or prospective buyer regardless of whether they were aware (or could have been aware) of red flags that might alert them to a risk of a hidden or underlying defect.

You can watch our new principles of disclosure video below or check out the disclosure section at rea.govt.nz.

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