What is a rental transaction and why is it important to have an agent?
Define Property Agent in a Rental Transaction
A property agent in a rental transaction is a licensed professional who acts as an intermediary between landlords and tenants.
They have extensive knowledge and experience in the real estate market, particularly in rental properties.
Their role is to assist both parties in finding the right match and ensuring a smooth and successful rental transaction.
Understanding the importance of an agent in a rental transaction
Having a property agent in a rental transaction offers several advantages:
- Expertise and Market Knowledge: A property agent has a deep understanding of the local real estate market, including rental rates, property availability, and tenant preferences. They can provide valuable insights and guidance to landlords and tenants, helping them make informed decisions.
- Efficient and Time-Saving: Renting out a property can be a time-consuming process, involving tasks such as advertising, conducting viewings, and screening tenants. A property agent takes care of these responsibilities, saving landlords and tenants precious time and effort.
- Effective Marketing: Property agents have access to various platforms and networks to market rental properties effectively. They can ensure maximum exposure for the property, attracting a larger pool of potential tenants and increasing the chances of finding the right match quickly.
- Screening and Selection: A crucial aspect of a rental transaction is screening tenants to ensure they are reliable and meet the landlord’s requirements. Property agents have the expertise to conduct thorough background checks, verify references, and assess tenants’ financial capability, minimizing the risk of selecting unsuitable tenants.
- Lease Negotiation: Negotiating lease terms can be complex, especially for first-time landlords and tenants. Property agents have experience in lease negotiations and can ensure that both parties’ interests are protected. They can assist in determining fair rental rates, discussing terms and conditions, and creating legally binding lease agreements.
Key Features of a Property Agent in a Rental Transaction
A property agent in a rental transaction possesses several key features that contribute to a successful rental experience:
- Professionalism: Property agents conduct themselves professionally and uphold ethical standards throughout the rental transaction. They prioritize their clients’ best interests and provide reliable and trustworthy services.
- Excellent Communication Skills: Effective communication is essential in a rental transaction. Property agents are skilled in listening to clients’ needs, providing clear and timely information, and facilitating smooth communication between landlords and tenants.
- Negotiation Skills: Property agents have strong negotiation skills and can advocate for their clients’ interests. They strive to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes and resolve any conflicts that may arise during the rental process.
- Attention to Detail: Rental transactions involve extensive paperwork and legal considerations. Property agents pay close attention to detail to ensure all documentation is accurate, complete, and compliant with relevant regulations.
- Customer Service: Property agents prioritize customer satisfaction and are committed to providing exceptional service. They go the extra mile to address clients’ concerns, answer questions, and provide guidance throughout the rental transaction.
Having a property agent in a rental transaction offers numerous benefits, including expertise, time-saving, effective marketing, screening and selection assistance, and lease negotiation support.
Their professionalism, communication skills, negotiation abilities, attention to detail, and excellent customer service contribute to a successful rental experience for both landlords and tenants.
- Property Agent’s Role in Finding a Rental Property
- Estate agents assist tenants in identifying suitable properties.
- Compliance with the Estate Agents Act is ensured, considering property types and legal obligations.
- Negotiating Lease Terms
- Agents act as intermediaries, facilitating negotiations.
- Compliance with the Estate Agents Act is ensured, and dual agency relationships are disclosed.
- Signing the Tenancy Agreement and Moving In
- Agents facilitate the signing of legally binding tenancy agreements.
- Assistance in completing necessary documents and guiding clients through the moving-in process.
- Property Management: Maintenance and Repairs
- Agents address property maintenance and repair needs.
- Advising on additional obligations, including tax-related matters.
- Property Management: Rent Collection and Arrears
- Agents play a crucial role in collecting rent on time.
- Understanding rental contracts and lease terms for effective management of arrears.
- Termination of Tenancy Agreement
- Agents guide both landlords and tenants through the termination process.
- Compliance with the estate agency agreement and providing tax advice related to termination.
- Common Law Duties of Estate Agents
- Agents have common law duties to clients and the public.
- Upholding ethical standards and acting in the best interests of clients.
- Importance of Clear Communication and Negotiation
- Transparent communication and negotiation of commission rates are crucial.
- Essential Terms and Conditions in Tenancy Agreements
- Tenancy agreements include essential terms covering the rental period, amount, and other clauses.
- Compliance with the Estate Agents Act, with duties of confidentiality, obedience, and disclosure.
- Registration of Tenancy Agreements with CEA
- Mandatory registration with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) adds transparency and protection.
- Agents follow specific procedures for registration, including collecting necessary documents and adhering to commission limits.
Duties of a Property Agent in a Rental Transaction in Singapore
Finding and Screening Tenants
A property agent plays a crucial role in finding and screening tenants for a rental transaction.
They utilize their expertise and knowledge of the real estate market to attract prospective tenants and ensure their suitability for the property.
Firstly, a property agent works closely with the landlord to understand their preferences and requirements.
They then utilize various platforms and networks to market the rental property effectively, including online listings and advertising campaigns.
Once potential tenants express interest, the property agent conducts thorough screenings to ensure the tenant is the right fit for the property.
This includes verifying references, conducting background checks, and assessing the tenant’s financial capability.
Additionally, property agents may arrange and conduct property viewings, allowing prospective tenants to assess the property in person.
Negotiating the Tenancy Agreement and Commission Rates
Negotiating the tenancy agreement and commission rates is another duty of a property agent in a rental transaction.
The agent acts as an intermediary between the landlord and tenant, ensuring that both parties’ interests are protected.
The property agent assists in drafting and negotiating the tenancy agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement.
They help clarify any ambiguities, ensure compliance with relevant regulations, and address any concerns raised by the landlord or tenant.
Additionally, property agents advise on fair rental rates based on their knowledge of the market and comparable properties.
Regarding commission rates, property agents help negotiate the fees payable for their services.
The commission fees usually depend on factors such as the rental amount and the length of the lease.
The agent may provide guidance on industry standards and help facilitate a fair agreement between the landlord and tenant.
In the realm of estate agency work, it is customary for agents to collect commission for their services.
This commission is typically a percentage of the final property sale price and is charged to the seller or buyer depending on the arrangement.
The collection of commissions is an integral part of the business model of a property agency as it serves as a means of generating revenue.
Essentially, agents act as intermediaries between individuals or companies looking to buy or sell property, and they provide valuable expertise and guidance throughout the process.
They invest significant time and effort into marketing, negotiating, and managing transactions on behalf of their clients.
Therefore, it is only fair that they are compensated for their services.
It is important to note that the commission is separate from any fees that are charged by the other party involved, such as lawyers, surveyors, or financial advisers.
These fee from the other party are distinct and are subject to separate agreements.
Overseeing the Rental Transaction and Providing Property Management Services
Throughout the rental transaction, a property agent oversees the process and provides property management services.
This includes assisting in rent collection, addressing maintenance issues, and ensuring compliance with tenancy agreements.
Property agents collect rent on behalf of the landlord, ensuring timely and hassle-free payment.
They may also handle any arrears and follow up with tenants for outstanding payments.
Furthermore, property agents play a vital role in managing the termination of a tenancy agreement.
They facilitate the return of the security deposit, conduct the necessary inspections, and ensure a smooth transition for both the landlord and tenant.
Overall, property agents in Singapore have a range of duties in a rental transaction, including finding and screening tenants, negotiating the tenancy agreement and commission rates, and overseeing the rental transaction and providing property management services.
By offering their expertise and ensuring a smooth and successful rental experience, property agents contribute significantly to the real estate market in Singapore.
Property Agent Commission Rates in Singapore
How Commission Rates are Determined
The commission rate for property agents in Singapore is not fixed and can vary depending on several factors.
Real estate salespersons work in the best interest of their clients, whether they are landlords or tenants.
The commission rate is usually a percentage of the transaction amount, such as the sale or rental price of the property.
The exact commission rate may differ from agent to agent and can depend on how much commission work is involved in the transaction.
Industry standards and the policies of the brokerage firm the agent works for may also influence the commission rate.
In some cases, a dual agency relationship may exist where an agent represents both the buyer and the seller or the landlord and tenant.
In such cases, the commission may be split between the parties involved and details in the property used for other purposes.
However, the regulatory body, the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), advises that contractual obligations should be clear to avoid any conflict of interest.
It is essential for both landlords and tenants to have a clear understanding of the commission rate and any additional fees before engaging a property agent.
Transparency and clarity are crucial in maintaining good brokerage relationships.
Who Pays the Commission?
The payment of the property agent’s commission can vary depending on the type of transaction.
In most cases, the landlord is responsible for paying the commission.
The agent collects the commission from the rental payments made by the tenant.
However, there are instances where the tenant pays the commission directly to the agent.
This arrangement is typically seen in commercial leasing agreements.
In some cases, the commission may also be shared with other parties involved in the transaction, such as the buyer in a property sale.
It is important to note that the payment of the commission is stated in the real estate contract.
The parties involved should clearly define the terms of the agreement, including any commission payable.
Stamp duty is another aspect to consider when it comes to property transactions in Singapore.
The Stamp Duty payable may vary depending on the type of transaction and the value of the property.
It is advisable to seek professional advice, such as tax advice, to understand the obligations and responsibilities regarding stamp duty.
Negotiating Commission Rates with Your Property Agent
When engaging a property agent, it is essential to discuss and negotiate the commission rates upfront.
Both the landlord and the tenant should have a clear understanding of the fees involved to avoid any potential disputes.
In Singapore, the Estate Agents Act regulates the conduct of property agents and protects the interests of both parties.
The agent may propose a commission rate, but it is negotiable.
It is crucial to communicate your expectations and discuss any concerns or questions regarding the commission fees.
For landlords, it is important to consider the services provided by the property agent when determining the commission rate.
Agents who offer additional services, such as negotiating offers or providing tax advice, may justify a higher commission rate.
It is advisable to engage a property agent who provides comprehensive services and is transparent about the commission rates.
Limited service agents may charge lower commission fees, but they may not offer the same level of support or settlement services.
Understanding the commission rates and the responsibilities regarding payment is essential in engaging a property agent in a rental transaction.
Clear communication and negotiation can help establish a fair and mutually beneficial agreement between the parties involved.
Tenancy Agreements in Singapore
Essential Terms and Conditions
In Singapore, when entering into a tenancy agreement, both the landlord and tenant are obligated to follow the essential terms and conditions set out in the agreement.
These terms and conditions cover various aspects of the rental arrangement, including the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
It is important to understand these terms and conditions to ensure a smooth and legally binding agreement.
The tenancy agreement is typically prepared by an estate agent who acts as an intermediary between the landlord and tenant.
This agreement outlines the terms of the rental, such as the rental period, rental amount, and any additional clauses or restrictions.
Additionally, the estate agent and the landlord may enter into an estate agency agreement, which governs their working relationship.
This agreement outlines the duties and responsibilities of the estate agent and ensures that they act in the best interest of the landlord.
Under the Estate Agents Act, estate agents have a duty of confidentiality to both the landlord and tenant.
This means that they cannot disclose any confidential information about either party without their consent.
Furthermore, estate agents have a duty of obedience, which requires them to follow the instructions and lawful requests of their clients.
Any information provided by the estate agent should be accurate and complete.
It is important for estate agents to make full disclosures of any brokerage relationships they have, especially if they are representing both the landlord and the tenant.
This is known as dual representation.
By disclosing this information, the landlord and tenant can make an informed decision about whether to engage an agent who has a potential conflict of interest.
Landlord’s and Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities
Both the landlord and the tenant have specific rights and responsibilities under the tenancy agreement.
The landlord is responsible for maintaining the property in good condition, ensuring that it meets the required safety standards, and addressing any maintenance issues promptly.
On the other hand, the tenant has the responsibility to pay the agreed-upon rental payments on time and to keep the property clean and in good condition.
They must also adhere to any rules and regulations set out in the tenancy agreement, such as restrictions on pets or smoking.
In the event of any disputes or disagreements, it is advisable for both parties to seek legal advice to understand their rights and obligations under the tenancy agreement.
Seeking legal advice can help resolve conflicts and ensure that both parties are protected.
How to Register a Tenancy Agreement with the Council for Estate Agencies
In Singapore, it is mandatory to register tenancy agreements with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) if the estate agent involved is licensed by the CEA.
This registration process helps protect the interests of both the landlord and the tenant.
To register a tenancy agreement, the estate agent will typically request to collect the National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) of the landlord and tenant, take photos of the property, and make photocopies of the relevant documents.
It is important to note that estate agents can only collect a maximum of one month’s commission from the landlord and one month’s commission from the tenant for their services.
This limitation prevents excessive charges and ensures fairness for both parties.
Additionally, if there is a dual agency relationship, where the agent represents both the landlord and the tenant, this relationship must be disclosed in the estate agency agreement.
Both parties should be aware of this relationship and its implications.
Understanding the essential terms and conditions of a tenancy agreement, as well as the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant, is crucial in maintaining a smooth and legally binding rental arrangement.
Registering the tenancy agreement with the Council for Estate Agencies provides an added layer of protection and transparency for all parties involved in the real estate journey.
The Duties of an Agent in a Rental Transaction
Finding a Rental Property
When it comes to finding a rental property in Singapore, the services of an estate agent can be invaluable.
The agent’s primary duty is to assist prospective tenants in identifying suitable properties that meet their requirements and budget.
This involves conducting property searches, analyzing property listings, and providing market insights to help clients make informed decisions.
In addition, estate agents are responsible for ensuring compliance with the Estate Agents Act.
They must possess the necessary knowledge and expertise to guide tenants through the intricacies of the rental market.
For instance, they need to understand the different types of property transactions, such as Housing Development Board (HDB) flats and private residential properties, and be aware of any specific regulations or restrictions that may apply.
Foreign tenants and occupiers also benefit from the expertise of estate agents who are familiar with the regulations governing their stay in Singapore.
Agents can provide guidance on matters such as the passes of the foreign tenants required for foreign tenants, occupancy limits, and any other legal obligations.
Making an Offer and Negotiating the Lease
Once a suitable rental property has been identified, the estate agent plays a crucial role in facilitating the negotiation process.
They act as intermediaries between the tenant and the landlord, relaying offers and counteroffers and helping both parties reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
The agent must ensure that all negotiations are conducted in compliance with the Estate Agents Act.
This includes obtaining the informed consent of their clients and adhering to rules regarding dual representation, where the agent represents both the landlord and the tenant.
In such cases, the agent must disclose the dual agency relationship to both parties to ensure transparency.
In addition to negotiating the rent amount, the agent may assist with other aspects of the lease, such as the lease term, rent-free periods, and additional payments.
They must advise their clients on their contractual obligations and ensure that all terms and conditions are clearly stated in the tenancy agreement.
Signing the Tenancy Agreement and Moving In
Once the lease terms have been agreed upon, the estate agent facilitates the signing of the tenancy agreement between the landlord and the tenant.
They ensure that the agreement is legally binding and that it covers all necessary aspects, including the responsibilities of both parties and the condition of the property.
The agent may also assist in the completion of other necessary documents, such as the Estate Agency Agreement, which outlines the responsibilities of the agent and the landlord.
They must ensure that all required forms, such as the customer’s particulars form, are accurately completed.
During the moving-in process, the estate agent may conduct a final inspection of the property to ensure that it meets the agreed-upon condition.
They may also provide guidance on matters such as Stamp Duty and other legal requirements.
It is important to note that estate agents have common law duties to both their clients and the general public.
These include duties of care, skill, and diligence in their profession.
Estate agents play a vital role in the rental transaction process in Singapore.
Their duties encompass finding suitable rental properties, negotiating leases, and facilitating the signing of tenancy agreements.
By guiding clients through the complexities of the rental market and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, estate agents contribute to a smooth and successful rental experience for both landlords and tenants.
Property Management Issues in Singapore
Maintenance and Repairs
When it comes to property management issues in Singapore, one of the key responsibilities of an estate agent is to address maintenance and repair needs.
This includes ensuring that the property is in a good physical condition and addressing any faulty appliances or furniture.
The estate agent acts as a liaison between the landlord and the tenant to help resolve any maintenance-related disputes.
In addition, the estate agent must be well-versed in real estate practices and lease terms to advise both parties on their additional obligations.
They may provide guidance on tax advice related to the property and ensure that all necessary repairs and maintenance are carried out promptly.
Rent Collection and Arrears
Another important aspect of property management is the collection of rent and dealing with any arrears.
The estate agent plays a crucial role in ensuring that rental payments are collected on time.
They must also be clear about the terms and conditions related to rent collection and any penalties for late payments.
In cases where tenants fall into arrears, the estate agent is responsible for taking appropriate actions to recover the outstanding rent.
This may involve negotiating payment plans or taking legal action if necessary.
It is essential for the estate agent to have a thorough understanding of the rental contract and lease terms to handle these situations effectively.
Terminating the Tenancy Agreement
When it comes to terminating a tenancy agreement, the estate agent plays a vital role in guiding both the landlord and the tenant through the process.
They assist in the preparation and signing of the termination documents, ensuring that all parties understand their rights and obligations.
The estate agent must also ensure compliance with the estate agency agreement, which outlines their responsibilities as an agent.
They cannot collect any additional fees or represent both the landlord and the tenant in termination negotiations.
The estate agent must act with a high degree of fidelity to both parties and act as an independent contractor representative.
It is worth noting that tax advice may also be provided in the event of termination.
The estate agent can offer guidance on any tax implications related to the termination of the tenancy agreement.
Estate agents in Singapore play a crucial role in property management.
They handle maintenance and repairs, rent collection and arrears, as well as the termination of tenancy agreements.
By ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and offering assistance and advice to both landlords and tenants, estate agents contribute to a smooth and successful rental experience.
Summary of duties of an agent in a rental transaction
In a rental transaction, the duties of an agent are crucial in ensuring a smooth and successful process.
The agent acts as an intermediary between the prospective buyer or tenant and the property owner or landlord, facilitating negotiations and ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
Some key duties of an agent include:
- Representing clients: The agent is responsible for representing the interests of their clients, whether they are buyers, tenants, landlords, or property owners. They must act in accordance with their client’s instructions and work diligently to protect their best interests.
- Providing information and advice: Agents must provide accurate and up-to-date information about the property subject to the transaction, including any pertinent details such as the sale price, rental terms, or additional offers. They should also offer informed advice to clients based on their expertise and knowledge of the market.
- Facilitating negotiations: Agents play a vital role in negotiating the terms of the rental transaction. They must ensure that both parties are aware of their rights and responsibilities and guide them through the negotiation process to reach an agreement that satisfies both parties.
- Ensuring legal compliance: Agents must ensure that all aspects of the rental transaction comply with relevant laws and regulations. This includes disclosing any potential conflicts of interest, providing necessary disclosures of brokerage relationships, and adhering to the common standard of professional conduct.
- Managing paperwork and documentation: Agents are responsible for drafting and reviewing contracts and other legal documents related to the rental transaction.
- They must ensure that all necessary paperwork is completed accurately and in a timely manner to avoid any legal issues or disputes.
When property is handed over to the tenant, it is essential to understand the dynamics of the property market and the legal obligations involved.
The process of collecting commission fees can be a sensitive matter for both tenants and property agents.
The agent’s role is to handle the transaction between the landlord and the tenant, ensuring a smooth and efficient process.
In many cases, the agent to handle works on a fixed commission rate, which is typically a percentage of the rental amount agreed upon.
It is the responsibility of the tenant to pay this commission fee, as it forms part of the cost associated with renting the property.
Failure to pay the commission can be considered an offense under the estate agents’ regulations and may result in legal repercussions.
Therefore, tenants should be aware of their obligation to pay commission fees promptly, offence under the estate agents, and the consequences that come with defaulting on this financial requirement.
Digitalised property transactions workgroup aims to streamline the process of buying and selling properties by embracing technology.
One key aspect of this digitalisation is the use of tenancy agreement and the property, which are now commonly created, signed, and stored digitally.
This not only saves time and resources but also ensures that all parties have access to accurate and up-to-date information.
Property agencies and agents play a crucial role in facilitating these transactions.
They act as intermediaries between the buyer and seller, providing guidance and assistance throughout the process.
With thedetails in the property now readily available online, buyers can easily access information such as floor plans, photographs, and property histories.
This transparency allows for informed decision-making and reduces the risk of disputes later on.
However, it is important to note that these advancements do come at a cost.
Property agencies and agents often charge a significant commission on the sale price, which needs to be taken into consideration when budgeting for a property purchase.
It is important to acknowledge the responsibility we have to help the other party involved in any business transaction.
In the real estate industry, this means ensuring that all parties involved are aware of the terms and conditions, especially when it comes to commissions.
Although it is tempting to use this information for other purposes, it is crucial to respect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals involved.
As professionals, we must document the agreed commission to ensure transparency and fairness for all parties involved.
It is our duty to represent and collect commission fees in a timely and efficient manner, providing clarity and accuracy in our processes.
By adhering to these principles, we can establish a strong reputation within the industry and build trust among our peers and clients.
This approach not only maintains the main aspects of a successful business relationship but also contributes to a healthy and thriving real estate market.
Importance of maintaining a trustworthy relationship with clients and fulfilling obligations
Maintaining a trustworthy relationship with clients is essential for an agent. By building trust and fulfilling their obligations, agents can establish a positive reputation and attract repeat business and referrals.
Trustworthy agents demonstrate professionalism, integrity, and transparency in their dealings with clients.
Fulfilling obligations involves:
- Clear and timely communication: Agents must keep their clients informed about the progress of the rental transaction and promptly respond to any inquiries or concerns. Open and transparent communication builds trust and ensures that both parties are on the same page throughout the process.
- Diligence and attention to detail: Agents must pay close attention to the details of the rental transaction, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken and all relevant information is accurately documented. Diligence demonstrates professionalism and protects both the agent and their clients from potential legal or financial consequences.
- Putting clients’ interests first: Agents should always prioritize their client’s best interests, even if it means making sacrifices or going the extra mile. By demonstrating genuine care for their clients’ needs and goals, agents can build long-term relationships based on trust and mutual respect.
In conclusion, the duties of an agent in a rental transaction are multifaceted and require professionalism, expertise, and a commitment to serving clients’ best interests.
By fulfilling these duties and maintaining a trustworthy relationship with clients, agents can ensure a positive and successful rental experience for all parties involved.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the duties of an agent in a rental transaction?
The duties of an agent in a rental transaction include assisting both the landlord and the tenant throughout the process. This can involve tasks such as finding prospective tenants, conducting property viewings, negotiating lease terms, handling paperwork, and ensuring a smooth transition from the tenant’s move-in to move-out.
What is a landlord in a rental transaction?
In a rental transaction, the landlord is the person or entity that owns the property being rented out. They are responsible for setting the rental terms, maintaining the property, and collecting rental payments from the tenant.
What are commission fees in a rental transaction?
Commission fees refer to the compensation that the real estate agent or agency receives for their services in a rental transaction. This fee is typically a percentage of the rental amount and is paid by either the landlord or the tenant, depending on the terms of the agreement.
What is the relationship between a landlord or tenant in a rental transaction?
In a rental transaction, the landlord and the tenant have a contractual relationship where the landlord provides the property for rent, and the tenant pays rent to occupy the property. Both parties have certain rights and responsibilities outlined in the tenancy agreement.
What is a real estate licensee?
A real estate licensee is an individual who holds a valid real estate license and is authorized to engage in real estate transactions. They can work as independent agents or be affiliated with a real estate agency.
What are fiduciary duties in a rental transaction?
Fiduciary duties are the legal obligations that the real estate agent has towards their client, whether it be the landlord or the tenant. These duties include loyalty, confidentiality, full disclosure, accountability, and acting in the best interests of their client.
What is a unit in a rental transaction?
In a rental transaction, a unit refers to a specific property or dwelling that is being rented out. It can be an apartment, house, condominium, or any other type of livable space.
What is a real property in a rental transaction?
Real property refers to land and any permanent structures that are attached to it, such as buildings or houses. In a rental transaction, the real property is the actual property that is being rented out to the tenant, e.g.
What is a prescribed estate agency agreement in a rental transaction?
A prescribed estate agency agreement is a standardized agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the relationship between the real estate agency and their client (landlord or tenant). It includes information on commission fees, services provided, and other important details related to the rental transaction.
What is the role of the agent in a rental transaction?
The agent plays a crucial role in a rental transaction. They act as a mediator between the landlord and the tenant, facilitating communication, providing guidance, and ensuring that the transaction is carried out in compliance with the law and industry standards.