Friday, 21 June 2019


Real estate agents now also subject to anti-money laundering legislation

Legislation requiring lawyers to verify the identity of their clients came into force in the middle of last year. From the beginning of this year, real estate agents are also required to confirm the identity of the vendors (and in some cases the purchasers) they work with. The public needs to be aware that these anti-money laundering requirements will impact on the way real estate agents deal with their clients, most notably with regard to the time it may take to establish a client’s identity in terms of the legislation.

When a real estate agent is dealing with an individual, they may ask the individual to present to them the original or a certified copy of their (the individual’s) passport, New Zealand firearms licence or New Zealand driver’s licence. The individual may also have to present an official document containing their residential address (eg a utility bill).

In the situation where a real estate agent is dealing with a trust, the trust deed and the individual identity documentation for all trustees and settlors may have to be provided, together with information about the trust’s wealth or source of funds. In the case of a company, all company details may have to be provided, together with the individual identity documentation for all individuals acting on behalf of the company and all shareholders owning more than 25 per cent of the company or having effective control of the company. Information regarding the company’s wealth or source of funds may also be required.

Real estate agents will guide their clients through the requirements of their specific situation.



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