Real Estate Board Policy Changes Now Effective

The Real Estate Board, the Government regulator of the private real estate sector, has enacted a number of  policy changes intended to better serve the interest of the public and the industry  These changes affect how dormancy is treated, the issue of attachment and supervision, and finally how Dealers with overseas qualifications can become qualified to practise locally.

The changes were ratified at the June 22 meeting of its Board of Directors.  These policy changes were subject to substantive deliberations of the Board, guided by legal advice and review of the legislative framework provided by the Real Estate (Dealers and Developers) Act, consultation with key stakeholders, and its own observation and assessment of the industry. 

Commenting on the policy changes, Board CEO, Phillip Chambers said, “The Real Estate Board takes very seriously any change that affects how our practitioners operate, how we regulate them, and also how those changes are likely to affect the public at large.”  Mr. Chambers went to explain that some of these changes have been in gestation for some time now, and that the discussions were guided by the Board’s learned in-house counsel.  “Of course, we are constantly surveying the landscape to see how we can better do what we do to improve the service provided by Salesmen and Dealers, which will ultimately redound to the benefit of the public.”

With regards to dormancy, the previous policy requiring a dealer who acts as Qualifying Director of a dealer company, to place his or her individual license on dormancy is revoked. The individual dealer is now at liberty to decide whether or not he or she will apply for a license to practice in his or her individual capacity for a particular year, or whether he or she wishes to apply for dormancy.  Dormancy is a provision which allows persons who do not intend to practice within a given year, to indicate this to the Board and pay the requisite fee, in lieu of the standard licence fee to practice.

On the issue of attachment, a supervising dealer can have a maximum of four persons attached, to him or her, up from two previously.  However, the Supervising Dealer must:

· Complete the Real Estate Supervisory Dealers Continuing Professional Development Course.

· hold a current Dealer’s licence.

· have been a practicing dealer for at least three years

· be fully compliant with filings under Proceeds of Crime Act and Terrorism Prevention Act.

· not have any complaint, except for one which is deemed frivolous or vexatious, lodged with the Real Estate Board against him/her/it.

have a registered office and displays required by paragraph 3 (a) and (b) of the Real Estate (Dealers and Developers) (Code of Ethics) Regulations.

· not have been found to be in breach of the Real Estate (Dealers and Developers) Act by the Court or the Real Estate (Dealers and Developers) (Code of Ethics) Regulations, by the Real Estate Board.

Further to point number one, a Real Estate Dealers Course will be offered over two days, with the first day designated for all dealers and the second for all supervising dealers.  The Real Estate (Dealers and Developers) Act dictates that a person who has completed the pre-licensing Dealers Course, must complete a period of attachment, or training as means of observing first-hand, the operations of a dealer, to be eligible to apply for registration by the Board as a Dealer.

Finally, applicants from overseas who hold similar qualification in other jurisdictions, must complete the Dealers’ Training Course at the Real Estate Training Institute (RETI), together with a period of attachment of at least one-year in the office of a real estate dealer approved by the Board.

The CEO in his assessment stated that the Directors and management are confident that these changes will improve the overall professionalism and competence of practitioners and be of significant benefit to the public. The Board has written to various professional stakeholder groups and Associations, as well as disseminated a mass email to all Dealers and S5alesmen, to inform them of these changes.  It will also be publicized in the print, social and electronic media.

Practitioners may contact the Board directly, for further information or to seek clarity on any of these changes.     

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