February 2, 2010

There has been a groundswell of protest from the real estate industry. The new sustainability declaration requirements impose a needless extra cost on homeowners and delay the residential sales process.

Such costs impose an unwarranted charge to sellers, particularly those who can ill afford additional charges – the elderly, mentally handicapped, physically handicapped and financially disadvantaged.

Because of the additional costs, such persons may be disadvantaged in being able to achieve an effective sales campaign. Owners face unfair and substantial fines for failing to accurately complete it. They also face the huge cost of civil lawsuits if the form is inaccurate in any detail.

Commercial providers have already sprung up to capitalise on this further layer of bureaucracy – charging homeowners for completing them – with no guarantee of any greater accuracy. The form completion expense may have to be incurred several times during the sales process given that the information must always be up-to-date.

Real estate agents also expose themselves to liability if they inadvertently, for example, fail to include a declaration in marketing material or the declaration contains outdated information.

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