Real Estate News & Community Works

Lawyers Now Required to Verify Property Clients’ Proof of Identity

From the 1st of July, lawyers and property conveyancers are now required by law to verify the identity of their clients. This new “Customer Due Diligence” process is in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009.

Home buyers and sellers will now need to provide proof of identities for lawyers and conveyancers to be able to act for them. Many lawyers will not agree to act for someone who has not been able to complete the identity verification process.

The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand reports that this can take days and sometimes weeks, particularly if a trust or company is involved. It is therefore strongly recommended that buyers and sellers contact their lawyers to complete the identity verification process.

For individuals looking to buy or sell their homes, the following certified documents will be required: passport, NZ Firearms License, or NZ Driver License. You will also need to provide a bank statement or a statement issued by a government agency, as well as a document with your residential address. There may also be specific requirements depending on your situation.

If client identity cannot be verified, lawyers cannot act for the client, which means conditional periods can lapse, property settlements can be delayed, and, worse comes to worst, deals can fall over. It is therefore very important that property purchases or vendors settle the identity verification process as quickly as they can.

Ilse Evans, leading Harcourts Takapuna agent, will be putting up fliers in her open homes. For detailed information on identity verification requirements and more, contact Ilse Evans today at 021 909 313 or visit her website at

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