A 14-member compliance committee of big industry players and legal experts will be set up by the Real Estate Developers Association as it tries to stave off government action over dubious home sales practices. It will also require members to submit an auditor's certification before sales to show they have complied with its guidelines. Vice-president Stewart Leung Chi-keung said yesterday the committee would comprise eight association members and six independents, mainly lawyers. Speaking after a four-hour meeting with the government, Consumer Council and the Estate Agents Authority, Mr Leung said the eight real estate members would be 'representative' of the industry. He said the association would invite suitable people to join the committee but did not say how they would be selected. The association expected the watchdog would investigate complaints referred to it through the government, the Consumer Council and the public. Once the committee established there was a case, it would refer it to a five-member panel, including at least one lawyer. If non-compliance was found action could range from a warning letter or private reprimand to, in more serious cases, a public reprimand. The association says it will also set a new requirement for developers in future sales to submit an auditors' certification that guidelines have been complied with. Non-compliance can also be the subject of an investigation by the new committee. Neither the Consumer Council nor the government will have representatives on the committee, but both welcomed the move, which has come in response to public outcry over allegations of questionable sales practices. Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Thomas Chan Chun-yuen said the government had no plans to put a representative on the committee for now. He said the administration would give the industry a reasonable time after the establishment of the committee to carry out its work. If self-regulation did not work after that, the government might step in. But Mr Chan did not say how long a 'reasonable time' would be, only adding that it would depend on how many property sales had been launched within a time frame to allow the new committee to get into action.