Department of Human Settlements
Parliament was recently briefed on the Draft Property Practitioners Regulations.
The draft Regulations were published for comment in Government Gazette 43073 in March 2020.
They flow from the Property Practitioners Act, signed by president Ramaphosa in October 2019.
The Property Practitioners Act seeks to:
• provide for the regulation of property practitioners;
• provide for the continuation of the Estate Agency Affairs Board as the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority;
• provide for the appointment of the members of the Board and matters incidental thereto;
• provide for the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer and other staff members of the Authority;
• provide for transformation of the property practitioners sector;
• provide for the establishment of the transformation fund and establishment of the research centre on transformation;
• provide for compliance with and enforcement of the provisions of the Act;
• provide for the continuation of the Estate Agents Fidelity Fund as the Property Practitioners Fidelity Fund;
• provide for consumer protection;
• provide for the repeal of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 1976; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.
The act will come into effect on a date still to be determined by the president.
Issues covered in the draft regulations include manner and form of applying for exemption; manner and form of raising objection to exemption; exemption from trust accounts; transformation; compliance, enforcement and dispute resolution; fees and the fidelity fund; fidelity fund certificates; trust accounts and details of auditor; training, conduct and consumer protection measures and administrative and other matters.
In the briefing, the human settlements department emphasized that property practitioners have a general duty to protect members of the public; disclose all relevant information connected to the property and the transaction such as the offer to purchase, contracts, trust account, interest, etc and not misrepresent or create false marketing and advertising.
The department confirmed that the Final Regulations will be published in the Gazette once the date of commencement of the Act is proclaimed.