The Western Australian government said it has strengthened the codes of conduct for real estate agents and settlement agents following recent cases of property fraud.
The rules on identifying sellers will now involve a 100-point verification process, the change prompted by two recent cases where homes were sold without the knowledge of their owners.
“Complying with the code of conduct is a strict requirement of their licence, so it’s essential for all real estate and settlement agents to take immediate steps to establish strong identity verification procedures in their office to avoid future fraud,” commerce minister Simon O’Brien said.
"These checks are designed to detect scams at the earliest stage and are complementary to measures put in place by Landgate for transactions involving owners living overseas."
The minister said officers from the Property Industries Branch of Consumer Protection would conduct regular visits to agents to ensure they have the necessary processes in place to conform to the new requirements in the code of conduct.
“We acknowledge the support of REIWA and the Australian Institute of Conveyancers in working closely with the state government to develop these changes,” he added.
Details of the new code can be obtained from here.