The Property Practitioners Act
What is it and how does it affect you?3rd Mar 2020
The Property Practitioner Act is a new piece of legislation that, once it is signed into law – probably mid-2020 – will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976. Its main purpose is to establish the Property Practitioner Regulatory Authority (PPRA), which will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Board; to regulate the affairs of all property practitioners; to allow for transformation in the property sector; and to provide for consumer protection.
Who is a property practitioner?
The act broadly defines a property practitioner (PP) as virtually anyone (corporate or natural) who, in the course of their business, has anything to do with property. This includes anyone who:
- auctions, rents, sells, exhibits for sale and/or manages a property
- manages the purchase of a property or business
- negotiates any property-related agreement, including financing
- canvasses for landlords/tenants/buyers or sellers of properties/businesses
- collects or receives rental on behalf of another person
- acts as intermediary or facilitator in any of the above.
The act also focuses on transformation. A transformation fund is to be created within six months of when the PPRA is established. It will be funded by the Fidelity Fund; government grant; fees and fines paid by property practitioners; investments; and monies donated or bequeathed to the PPRA. The funds are to be used to promote the interests of historically disadvantaged people and communities, including providing for training and development and education of the general public.
Requirements for PPs
In terms of the act, PPs are required to:
- have and display a valid fidelity fund certificate (FFC)
- ensure that all their records and contact details are up to date
- keep hard or digital copies of all documentation, including marketing material and inter-company correspondence
- refrain from obliging consumers to deal with specific service providers
- ensure that mandatory disclosure forms are completed and signed before accepting a mandate
- recognise that they owe buyers and sellers (and probably landlord and tenants) a duty of care.