INTERIM measures must be introduced to tackle the problems affecting the industry until legislation is introduced, says the working group on the regulation of estate agents. It recommends that the Hong Kong Real Estate Agencies Association (HKREAA) and the Society of Hong Kong Real Estate Agents (SHKREA) should draw up a code of practice with the help of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Consumer Council. The working group recommends the two trade associations, in consultation with the Consumer Council, the ICAC and the Law Society, should review the terms and conditions of inspection forms and provisional sale and purchase agreements (PSPA) and draw up standard documents for use by their members and other estate agents. The role and obligations of estate agents should be clearly spelt out in the new documents. The standard documents should contain a clause obliging estate agents to disclose their interest, including the profits or commissions they earn. Making disclosure of interests a contractual obligation will provide safeguards against unscrupulous estate agents. Although an agent may refuse to sign a standard document with a disclosure clause, it will alert clients to potential malpractice. Both the HKREAA and the SHKREAA should promote the trade's acceptance of the new standard documents. A revised inspection form called the Engagement Agreement for Inspection of Premises is in the final stage of preparation. A review of the standard PSPA is also being planned. In terms of supplying basic information, the working group considers estate agents should be obliged to disclose full, correct and essential information of the property to prospective buyers. It recommends that the two trade associations should encourage estate agencies to do a Land Registry search for properties they handle and provide prospective buyers with basic written information. That should include the property's age, size, permitted use and Crown lease tenure where available.