The Australian NSW State Government plans to amend its Property, Stock and Business Agents Regulation 2014 to bring in laws that enable the sharing of pest reports for online consumers.
The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports from July, in an Australian first, real estate agents will be required to keep a disclosure log of any building and pest, strata or contract review reports that have been done for a property they are marketing.
According to the SMH report, the information, including the company that did the report and their contact details, will be made available to potential purchasers when they request a contract.
The move is part of a new approach outlined earlier in the year which saw the release a NSW government position paper acknowledging the importance of the collaborative or peer-to-peer sector.
The paper, released by Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello in January shows so called disruptive collaborative industries like Uber transport and Airbnb contributed $504 million to the NSW economy last year.
In the last year, 45,000 people earned income from the collaborative economy. Globally, it is predicted that the collaborative economy will grow from current US$15 billion to $335 billion by 2025.
Dominello said international experience showed that where governments have embraced the collaborative economy and adopted sensible regulation, it has provided a significant boost for local startups and entrepreneurs.
“Digital innovation is transforming the way people do business in every city and every country around the world. The reality is the collaborative economy is here to stay,” he said.
The NSW Government’s position is set out under five guiding principles: supporting a culture of innovation; fit for purpose regulation in the digital age; customer protection and safety; promoting competition; and agile government procurement.
It is the outcome of a Deloitte Access Economics report estimating more than 50 per cent of NSW consumers have used a digitally enabled shared product or service including transport, accommodation, education, employment and finance.
In the case of property, the SMH report says the NSW government is hoping to promote the "emerging area of the sharing economy in a move it hopes will save prospective home buyers hundreds of dollars".
Minister Dominello told the SMH inspection reports often cost hundreds of dollars each and are a financial burden for potential buyers.
"This reform will help reduce that burden by increasing transparency in the marketplace."
Inspection reports are currently sold on to other potential bidders at a discount.
Australian start-ups specialising in reducing the cost of inspection services and information such as Before You Bid and Eyeon will benefit from the new legislation.
Before You Bid discounts the cost of its building and pest inspection reports from if more than one person purchases it. Meanwhile Eyeon focuses on reducing the risk of paying full price for a report if you are not the successful bidder.
It has an 'Open Access' report system, in which the property vendor contributes to the cost of the report undertaken by Eyeon with no approval rights for the vendor. Prospective buyers can download reports from the website for $99. Once the sale has gone through, the property buyer pays a top-up fee to bring the total cost of the report to $448.