A Sea Point reader asked if an estate agent was obliged to show their bank statements with the interest earned on the deposit you put down when you buy a house (“The thorny question of interest on rental deposits”, Off My Trolley, March 9/10).
Michelle Dickens of Tenant Profile Network said estate agents and conveyancers are not required to show buyers the actual bank statements but they are required to account for the amounts received and to show a breakdown of the interest generated on the deposit.
“The interest that is earned on the amount and to whom such interest is payable is determined by the terms of the contract signed between the parties,” she said.
Attorney Marlon Shevelew of Marlon Shevelew and Associates Inc agreed.
“In my opinion, it would satisfy Section 4 of the Estate Agents Code of Conduct if the agent showed the amount of the deposit held, the accrued interest, and the interest rate, and not necessary the proof (actual bank statements),” the Cape Town lawyer said.
“The code of conduct obliges the agent to convey all facts which are or could be material.
“Interpreted literally, this obligation is fulfilled when the agent discloses the amount of the deposit and interest earned to the prospective purchaser.
“It would be unreasonable for an agent to be compelled to provide a detailed statement of their entire trust account, especially to a prospective purchaser,” Mr Shevelew said.
* You can visit the website www.marlonshevelew.co.za or contact the TPN on www.tpn.co.za for more information.