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Home Other Checks and Registrations Real Estate Police Checks in Australia

Real Estate Police Checks in Australia

A thing you would want to avoid in the Australian Real Estate Industry is; dealing with persons who have unresolved issues with the Police or who may damage your property. Not only can this nullify the entire worth and progress of the deal (as a buyer, a seller, vendor, and co.), but it can land you in further legal introspection.

Although it is impossible to know beforehand the character or integrity of the person you intend to deal with, some legal documents can help provide you with insights or guides. An example of such a Check is the Police Check Certificate.

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How is a Police Check important to real Estate?

A Police Check certificate contains all the releasable offences/convictions of an individual sourced from the National Criminal Database and the National Police records. The offences are released in accordance with the spent convictions scheme of the State where the applicant requests the Police Check.

The Police Checks can either come out with a No-Disclosable Court Outcome (NDCO); where the applicant has no offence or releasable conviction against their name

Or

Disclosable Court Outcomes: It means some convictions or offences are considered releasable against the individual's name.

In many Real Estate transactions or deal-brokering, partners, agents, and sellers consider a Police Check an important certificate of trust, transparency and smooth running of the deal. Therefore, you might be required to present your Police Check certificate if you are hoping towards any deal/property in Real Estate.

How can a Real Estate Agent/Buyer/Seller get an updated Police Check?

Getting your Police Check delivered and issued to you within 24 hours is possible when you apply through the online application process of Australian National Character Check. Applicants can apply using this link: National Criminal History Check Online Application Form

Australian National Character Check is one of the agencies approved by the federal government to help applicants apply for and receive their check efficiently. Applicants can complete all the application processes using their Phone, Tablets or PC.

The applicants will receive an email with the electronic copy of their Police check certificate normally within 24 to 48 hours, with an option to receive the hard copy via the mail.

The other option is applying through the Local Police Authority which may require you to complete the application in-person and get ID documents certified or attested. Also, it might take more time to receive your Police Check certificate.

Real Estate Police Checks for Business and Enterprise

Business and enterprise customers may sign up as a business customer with Australian National Character Check and order checks in a streamlined manner via the police check business portal. You can order, track and view police check results online. Checks can only be ordered with the informed consent of the applicant.

Contact ANCC’s business partnerships team today to find out how your organisationcan set up a business account and get started.

How long is a Police Check valid in the Real Estate Industry?

Most organisations are specific about how old a National Police Check must be before they consider it invalid. For some, any Police Check that exceeds 3 months from the point of issue is unacceptable, and for others, the maximum age of a Check should be 6 months. The State legislation refrains from interfering in how different individuals/organisations interpret results of a National Police Check certificate.

However, a Police Check certificate is a point-in-time check (no set expiry date). It isvalid from issue till the requesting party demands an updated check. The requestingparty may provide guides on the minimum age of the Police Check certificate that should be presented based on their own internal risk mitigation policies.

If an individual is convicted of another crime in the process, they must request an updated national police clearance check, and inform other parties in the deal.

If I fail my Police Check, will I be denied a Real Estate deal?

If your conviction is by all means unrelated to owning/renting/buying/leasing a house, then a failed Police Check should not tarnish the Real Estate deal.

However, an agent or a Real Estate firm may deny you their services or options if you have a recent conviction in; Murder, Property Damage, Arsonry, Sexual abuse, and other “serious” convictions.

Is my Police Check valid in all Australian States for use in Real Estate?

The Checking process compares the data that the applicants provide against the data on the national Criminal database, and in the Australian Police records.

Your Australian Police Check is valid in all parts of Australia:

✔ Police Check in New South Wales (NSW)

✔ Police Check in the state of Victoria (VIC)

✔ Police Clearance in the state of Western Australia (WA)

✔ National Police Check in Queensland (QLD)

✔ Police Clearance within South Australia (SA)

✔ National Police Check in Tasmania (TAS)

✔ Police Check in the state of Northern Territory (NT)

✔ Police Check in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

What will I find in my Criminal History Check certificate?

If you are ever convicted of an offence in any Australian State under a legal court; the details and status of such offences will be displayed on your Police Check certificate as a Disclosable Court Outcome (DCO).

Awaiting your Police Check result is not something to be scared of, here are some offences that you may expect on your certificate;
Although all offences where the individual was convicted in a court (juvenile or adult) is recorded in the Police records or the national criminal database, not all offences may be released, depending on the State's legislation. Some of an applicant's offences may qualify as a "Spent Charge"

Spent charges are usually convictions that are removed from an individual's national criminal history check records after they satisfy all stipulations by the law.So if you are convicted of an offence that falls under the Spent Convictions scheme, try as hard as possible to satisfy the stipulated conditions.

In the state of Western Australia, applicants must apply to the WA Police Force to have their convictions spent from their police clearance in WA .

However, no matter how much “waiting-period) has elapsed, some offences will never be considered as “Spent”. These offences are either too “Serious” or a long threat to a municipality, life, and property.

Some of these offences are;

What Offences will not show up in my Police Check?

Not all traffic infringements may show up in your Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check NCCHC and affect your image in the Real Estate industry. Some offences are not considered "Serious" or damaging to the Real Estate Industry and may not show up in your Police Check;

Can an interested party (Real Estate) request a Police Check for another party?

A third party may bear all the costs and procedures involved in obtaining a Police Check on behalf of an individual but with their “Informed Consent”.

A Real Estate realtor may request a national criminal record check of their tenant orseller only if the person agrees through written consent. The "consent" covers the terms of use of the Police Check.

It is unlawful (punishable offence) to divulge details of an individual's Police records without their explicit permission

What data do I need to apply for a Police Check?

Through the online portal of Australian National Character Check, applicants can apply for the Police Check easily, via a PC, Tablet and mobile devices.

If a party in a Real Estate deal requests for your criminal background check certificate, you must provide these documents to complete your application;

✔ All names; including aliases, monikers, and maiden names

✔ Address (es) of all places you have lived for the past five years.

✔ Date of Birth

✔ Four forms of identification documents and a biometric link (selfie)

Who can apply for a Criminal Record Check certificate?

Anyone based in Australia can apply for a Police Check certificate;

when they need it,

or

To know their updated national criminal history records.

These groups include;

What happens to your Real Estate deal if you fail your Australia Police Check?

If your Police Check contains a disclosable court outcome (DCO), it still doesn’t guarantee that you will lose the house, property or “good” deal. Since every firm or individual interprets the result of a Police Check depending on their internal risk mitigation strategy, being honest about it would be more helpful.

A failed police Check should not deter you from applying to rent a house, a propertyor others, as most times, the other party may deem the details of the conviction irrelevant to your Real Estate interests.

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