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Document reviews don’t stop at AML checks, agents warned

Agents are being urged to increase their efforts when it comes to checking documents to avoid potential claims.

Paul Offley, compliance officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, said most agents are in the habit of checking identification documentation for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) purposes, but then fail to read and spot important information in documents such as the property information questionnaire (PIQ).

He said agents should be checking the PIQ document to see whether there is any information that needs to be challenged back to the seller, or if there is anything in the document that could be considered material disclosure and therefore needs to be brought to the attention of any interested buyer.


Offley said: “I would challenge agents to go back over the PIQ’s they received on their past few instructions to see whether there is any information that needed to be challenged or disclosed, or whether the documents were simply filed when received without going through some sort of checking process. If there is no process in place, important information could easily be overlooked.”

According to Offley, another document that agents should check when they receive it is the energy performance certificate (EPC).

He added: “There have been cases where EPC assessors have put down the incorrect information, resulting the property being rated at the incorrect energy level.

“How many times do agents get the EPC and tick it off their checklist without going through the details. It is important for agents to check that the information contained in the document is stated correctly and relates it to the right property. Has anything been missed or does the size of the property on the certificate match the floorplans?

Offley says that another reason to check the EPC is to see what can be done to improve the property’s energy efficiency, adding: “These days everyone is very conscience of the cost of energy and what they can do to improve their energy efficiency, so agents could potentially use the information as part of their sales pitch to potential buyers. It is all about making sure the information is read, understood and what can be done to improve the energy efficiency.”


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