REIA keeps tabs on ACT for asbestos non-disclosure

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) is looking to the experience of its counterpart in ACT as part of its discussions about agents and the disclosure of houses affected by dangerous asbestos.

REIA CEO Amanda Lynch told Real Estate Business it’s currently in stakeholder discussions with the Office of Asbestos Safety about the development of a national strategic plan for asbestos awareness and management.

Last week, Canberra real estate agents were warned by the Real Estate Institute of the Australian Capital Territory (REIACT) they face a fine of up to $1.1 million if they do not fully advise potential buyers of 'Mr Fluffy' asbestos in homes.

Chief executive Ron Bell said full disclosure by agents was vital and they have a duty to disclose the presence of this dangerous type of asbestos, adding that the REIACT could not have agents being ignorant about the issue. 

Mr Bell said REIACT was working to make sure agents were fully aware of the financial repercussions for agents in the event of non-disclosure, voicing his concern that young or new agents might not be aware of the seriousness of their duties.

Ms Lynch said Office of Asbestos will be examining the feasibility of a future prioritised removal program (PRP) for residential properties.

“This will consider amongst a range of matters the ACT experience where there are laws that require sellers and lessors of residential premises to provide an Asbestos Advice with a contract for sale/residential tenancy,” said Ms Lynch.

She added this work has not been completed so any details are yet to be worked out, but REIA will continue to be involved with the office.

“Real estate agents are major stakeholders and support community safety and awareness of the specific dangers posed by some forms of asbestos in buildings and homes,” said Ms Lynch. 

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