How can a estate agent register as an essential service?

Author
TPN Credit Bureau
Specialised credit bureau focused on the education and property markets

TPN have received confirmation from Shane Brown, the Head of Disaster Management in Port Elizabeth that estate agents can register as an essential service for limited back to work functions.

Disaster Management Act, Regulations

Table 1 Alert Level 4

Part H: Financial and Business Services

2. Essential Financial Services may operate,… only when the operation of a place of business or entity is necessary to continue to perform those services:

ii. the payments environment

9. Other professional services may operate only where work-from-home is not possible, and only to support other Alert Level 4 services

In terms of the Directions published on 6 May 2020, which specifically provide for a Permit to Relocate in limited circumstances, estate agents would be required to facilitate the handover of keys as well as incoming and outgoing inspections.

Question 1: How does an estate agency business register as an essential service provider?

Essential service providers must register their business on CIPC and follow the COVID-19 Essential Services steps.

Question 2: How does the estate agent obtain a permit?

Please click here to download the: Permit to perform an essential or permitted service

The head of the estate agency business should provide the estate agent with the Permit to perform an essential service, this Permit should be signed and stamped by the principal or head of the business.

Question 3: What are the employers responsibilities towards their employees?

  • Where employees come into contact with members of the public, employers must provide their employees with face masks
  • Restrictions on face-to-face meetings
  • Special measures for employees with known health or comorbidity conditions
  • Special measures for employees above the age of 60
  • Provide a designated COVID-19 compliance officer
  • Develop and implement a phased return to work plan

Conclusion

This is not a back to work as usual just yet, registering as an essential service provider is limited to “only providing support to other Alert Level 4 services, where work-from-home is not possible”.

TPN recommends that where the estate agent is traveling for the purpose of key handover or inspections that they should have a copy of their identity, permit to perform an essential service and a copy of the tenant’s permit to relocate.