Category Property News

If you get defrauded by an unregistered estate agent, you can claim your losses from the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB). But not for long. Once the Property Practitioners Bill is enacted - which is likely to be before May - you will have to take the knock.

This is according to Joseph Sakoneka, the registration manager at the EAAB.

As the law stands, unregistered estate agents are not entitled to a commission, but this hasn't stopped chancers from operating in the sector, presumably because consumers don't check their credentials.

According to the EAAB's latest annual report, unregistered estate agents "continue to evade prosecution" and remain a challenge for the board. "The lack of co-operation from the police in arresting perpetrators, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in prosecuting offenders, and conveyancing attorneys who continue to pay commission over to unregistered estate agents ... makes it impossible to root out illegal operators," the report says.

When the bill is enacted, conveyancers will be prohibited from paying any monies to a property practitioner unless the conveyancer has received a copy of the practitioner's certificate.

How to check whether your estate agent is registered

You can check if your estate agent is registered with the EAAB and has been issued with an FFC by clicking on the digital seal in their e-mail signature.

It is mandatory for all estate agents to register for their PrivySeal, a digital seal that authenticates registered estate agents in real time.

As opposed to a static image embedded in an e-mail or on a website, the PrivySeal is dynamic and displays the day's date and time. When a user clicks on the seal, a hyperlinked verification certificate opens on the PrivySeal site, which checks it against the EAAB's database every five minutes.

Author: Angelique Ardé

Submitted 17 May 19 / Views 931
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