New rules for house buyers - fiasco

Posted: 11/7/2017

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New rules for house buyers under Anti-Money Laundering Regulations could mean having to hand over personal data to the selling estate agent. Previously estate agents had to conduct dule dilligence on sellers, such as checking I.D and seeking proof that they owned the property. But those checks have now been extended to buyers, under new legislation. In typical "Yes Minister" style of course, the government have made a complete pig's ear of it all by not issuing guidance before the legislation came out. Agents are now in the dark as to how to implement the new rules but at the mercy of crippling fines if they get it wrong. The situation is so bad that the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, normally a fairly quiet and conservative bunch, are threatening to take an injunction out against the government on the new rules. To make matters worse, HMRC, who were still "consulting" with agents on the new laws have been accused of discriminating against some agents by not including them. According to one law firm, the new rules it could slow up transactions by up to six months. Jim Hacker could no do worse!

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