The Property Practitioners Act, which was signed into law on 19 September by President Cyril Ramaphosa, will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976. The act aims to help future-proof the real estate sector, as well as enable to operate effectively in a fast-changing environment.

Chris Dykes, of Dykes van Heerden Attorneys, summarizes the most important points of the act:

1. The Act is not effective as yet.

2. The EAAB is replaced with the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority.

3. There is a big drive to transform the property sector. The Authority must implement measures to ensure this and include a number of programmes to help promote transformation.

4. The Estate Agents Fidelity Fund (in terms of the Estate Agents Affairs Act) will continue to operate but under the name Property Practitioners Fidelity Fund. The running costs of the Authority including insurance premiums will also be paid from this fund.

5.  Every property practitioner must apply to the Authority every 3 years for a Fidelity Fund certificate as opposed to every year. The process of obtaining an FFC will be a welcome change for estate agents. It will reduce the administrative burden of obtaining a new FFC every year and also allow a procedure to compel the Authority to issue a certificate after the correct process has been followed.

6. In terms of section 67, a property practitioner may not accept a mandate unless a lessor or seller of the property has provided him with a fully completed and signed mandatory disclosure form. This is one of the biggest changes of the act.

7.  If a mandatory disclosure form is not completed, signed or attached, the agreement must be interpreted as if no defects or deficiencies in the property were disclosed to the purchaser. If a property practitioner fails to obtain a completed mandatory disclosure from the seller or lessor, the property practitioner may be held liable by the affected consumer.

Author: Industry News

Industry News