The recent implementation of identification check legislation following Perth property scams has become a debacle unnecessarily inconveniencing sellers and generally causing confusion and in some cases anger, according to RE/MAX WA Managing Director, Geoff Baldwin.
“The Real Estate Agents’ Act was changed to make it compulsory for agents to acquire 100 point identification and to have it on file prior to every property sale they administer while at the same time it has also been demanded that settlement agents obtain the same ID confirmation again before they settle the property”, he said.
“This in itself is overkill and it upsets a lot of sellers who, in these days of identity theft, rightfully feel uncomfortable with having copies of their passports, licenses, etc sitting in manila folders in offices across Perth which is now the requirement for agents to comply with their yearly audits.
“Although the onus of ID checks has been enforced on agents information being disseminated by the government via flyers and radio advertisements telling sellers they are required to provide 100 points of ID makes no mention of real estate agents.
“All advertising is telling the public that settlement agents and brokers, etc will demand 100 points of identification but agents, who are the first port of call for ID, are not mentioned in any material or advertisements.
“There is no argument that an ID system is required to make it as hard as possible for fraudsters to succeed but the current misinformation, doubling up, copying and storing of peoples personal information in agents’ offices is madness and has the capacity to replace one security problem with another.
“The government needs to act now to refine the one system whereby prospective sellers attend the Post Office once, provides the required ID which is registered online as having been cleared. This ID clearance should be associated with the particular property and the secure database should be accessible using a PIN, to agents, brokers, and settlement agents for their clients only.
A one stop system such as this would be much more secure, avoid this crazy double up, confusion and aggravation”, Mr Baldwin said.
Media Contact – Geoff Baldwin