select
|

Illegal estate agents due to a lack of proper industry regulation

The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally. 

Jan le Roux, Chief Executive of Rebosa (the Real Estate Business Owners of South Africa) questioned these figures and wants to know what the EAAB is doing about the issue.

Le Roux says, “This is obviously not a justifiable deduction; ten years ago – in 2007 – was before the credit crunch and the real estate industry in South Africa and worldwide was thriving. It is likely that there could be as many as 40,000 operators today, leaving a possible 10,000 illegal operators – still an astounding and unacceptable number.”

The board’s spokeswoman, Margie Campbell promoted the PrivySeal concept in terms of which all agents must incorporate a link to PrivySeal in their communication which enables consumers to instantly check the agents legal standing. “Rebosa is in support of this concept and has been cooperating with Mr Stephen Logan of PrivySeal from the outset,” says le Roux.

“Good as this concept is, it is however a First World solution to a Third World problem. It is very likely that thousands of the illegal operators don’t use email and therefore cannot and won’t display PrivySeal. Consumers therefore will not be able to verify via PrivySeal. They could do so on www.eaab.org.za, but only if they have the full names of the agent in question. This is hardly ever available, rendering the EAAB option useless. It is unfortunate that Mrs Campbell put this forward as a solution to a massive problem without addressing the real issues,” says le Roux.

Campbell remains quiet about what the EAAB is doing about the thousands of illegal operators despite many of them being reported to the EAAB on a regular basis. Le Roux believes that; “Through PrivySeal the onus is placed on the consumer to be aware – which is good – but the EAAB cannot escape its responsibility as the regulator to take steps against illegal operators and prosecute same. That is what regulators are for.”

Lawyers operating as estate agents are becoming a new phenomenon. Lawyers are, in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, exempt from having to qualify as estate agents and can operate in the same way provided they do so under the legal firm’s name, from their premises and in the normal course of business. It however appears that many of them have started real estate concerns under different names and employ unqualified individuals to work for them.

“This has also been reported to the EAAB on many occasions without tangible results,” says le Roux, “We do hope some action will be taken as a matter of urgency. One of the main obligations of the EAAB is to protect the public and one can only hope that the regulator will act more forcibly against illegal operators in all spheres.”


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 22 Jun 2018
      The rental market in many Johannesburg suburbs has shown encouraging signs of revival this year but it remains a competitive market and landlords who best cater to their market’s needs will reap the healthiest returns.
    • 22 Jun 2018
      Home design is constantly evolving to reflect the changing needs of society. We look at some of the ways in which our use of space is changing.
    • 22 Jun 2018
      While estate agents can help the seller with correctly pricing the property and marketing a property to the right pool of potential buyers, at the end of the day it’s the impression that the property will make on buyers that counts the most.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      Anyone who’s ever been involved in a building project that’s gone wrong will appreciate the importance of adequate insurance cover in the construction industry.
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A recent news story about a blind tenant caught in a legal battle with his body corporate over letters and notices he was unable to read and consequently comply with has raised the question: what are the legal obligations for landlords with disabled tenants?
    • 21 Jun 2018
      A trend that’s taken the world by storm in recent years is that of hygge (pronounced: hue-guh), a Danish concept that is about creating intimacy, connecting with loved ones and taking pleasure in small, ordinary things.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      Buying or selling real estate isn’t as easy as it is portrayed sometimes, especially if there is a death of a party during the transaction which can make it awkward, tricky and inconvenient.
    • 20 Jun 2018
      With interest rates remaining at historic lows and banks continuing to compete for mortgage finance business, first-time buyers with funds at their disposal are currently well-placed to gain that initial foothold on the property ladder, particularly in the light of the slightly lower growth rates currently experienced in residential property values.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK