How the Property Practitioners Act Will Affect Sellers in 2022

    The Property Practitioners Act (PPA) enforces new limitations on processes in the real estate industry; we examine how it will affect future home sellers.

    According to the Seeff Property Group, the most recent addition to real estate market legislation, 'Property Practitioners Act 2019' will change the property market and affect how home sellers go about selling their property in the months to come.

    The Property Practitioners Act (PPA) 2019 and its amendments took effect on the 1st of February 2022, following the publication of its regulations halfway through December 2021. The PPA 2019 enforces several reforms to the property industry, most notably the renaming of estate agents as "property practitioners". 

    Homebuyers also receive additional protection from the Act as property practitioners must disclose any damages and flaws to rental properties or newly-purchased homes. Although this practice is commonplace in the property industry, it is now a legal requirement that sellers must familiarise themselves with; all parties involved must sign the document attached to the sale or lease agreement.

    Sellers should avoid concealing defects in their properties and that buyers can legally sue sellers for the false advertisement of the property's condition. However, if there are faults or damages to the property that sellers were unaware of, they cannot be held liable. 

    When selling a property, sellers should observe two categories of defects - patent defects and latent defects.

    Patent defects - the human eye can easily detect these defects; they include:  

    • Cracked walls
    • Hanging gutters
    • Smashed/broken windows
    • Broken light switches
    • Fractured swimming pool walls
    • Degraded/rotting woodwork
    • Damaged cupboards
    • Chipped paintwork
    • Broken/chipped tiles
    • Damage to carpets/ laminate/ hardwood floors 

    Latent defects - these defects are more challenging to spot and frequently relate to structural issues; they include:

    • Unstable walls
    • Leaking roofs 
    • Defective geysers
    • Defective swimming pool pumps
    • Rusted internal pumps
    • Incorrectly installed ventilation fans
    • Increasing dampness
    • Structural difficulties 

    A property inspection provides peace of mind for the future to all parties involved. We advise sellers to inspect before making their property available on the market. A property practitioner can conduct this comprehensive evaluation of the property, and the seller must disclose all faults, whether they are visible or not.

    Author: Seeff Head Office
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