Settlement Agents Disclosure of Interest?
- Settlement agents must ensure that they look after their client’s best interest in a transaction. Settlement agents are required by law to inform you if they have any business or financial dealings with another party to your transaction. When a personal, business or financial relationship exists, the settlement agent must provide you with a Disclosure of Interest before you sign the Appointment of a Settlement Agent form.
- The Disclosure of Interest identifies the type of interest involved and contains information about your rights when appointing a settlement agent. Specifically, your settlement agent must give you a Disclosure of Interest if your settlement agent has a: Personal interest in the transaction. For example, the settlement agent has a personal interest in the transaction if they are the seller or the buyer of the property or have links to the seller or the buyer of the property.
- Business association with another person/ persons involved in the transaction. For example, the settlement agent receives frequent referrals of business from the real estate agent, sales representativeor developer who is selling the property.
- Financial association with another person/persons involved in the transaction. For example, the real estate agent who sold the property or the financial institution providing the loan for the property has
shares in or owns the settlement agency.
- Before signing the Disclosure of Interest, consider that the relationship being disclosed could give rise to a conflict of interest which may affect the service provided to you. In situations such as these you may choose to appoint another settlement agent or solicitor if you wish.