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Real Estate Agents Regulations 2018 in Final Stages

Real Estate Agents Regulations 2018 in Final Stages
January 06
11:00 2018

This will be obtained by participating and completing the activities, courses and programmes listed under the regulation.

Standardised Real Estate Agency Agreements

The Board has been receiving numerous complaints regarding an unfair provision in the agent’s and seller’s agreement which states that anything above the selling price agreed by the seller will be regarded as the agent’s commission.

Ms Tuimanu said the regulation of the commission has been an ongoing problem which is one of the major reasons for the call of a legislative review on the Real Estate Agents Act 2006.

REALB acting chief executive officer Virisila Tuimanu at the national consultation in Nadi last year.   Photo: REALB

REALB acting chief executive officer Virisila Tuimanu at the national consultation in Nadi last year. Photo: REALB

“We found that the details of the land and property are not clear in the complaints raised to us.

“Some say that they do not know who they are dealing with, whether it is the agent or the salesperson who is the principal of the agency.

“Because of this, the board decided to have standardised provisions,” she said.

This means that in all contract agreements, the standardized provision provided in the Regulation, stating the agent’s details and so forth, must be included.

A draft copy of the Real Estate Agents Regulation 2018.  Photo: Monica Aguilar

A draft copy of the Real Estate Agents Regulation 2018. Photo: Monica Aguilar

However, agents will still be allowed to make additional provisions in their contract but must have the standardised provisions.

If an agency fails to do so, he or she will be subject to disciplinary action which is either a suspension or cancellation of the agency’s license renewal.

It has also been brought to the board’s attention that some agents have been advertising the price for the property in their advertisements that is different to what has been agreed on by the property owner.

She said the board is trying to eradicate the unfair provisions to avoid property owners.

Stakeholders at the national consultation in Nadi last year.   Photo: REALB

Stakeholders at the national consultation in Nadi last year. Photo: REALB

“The board does not want to involve with salving contractual agreements but what we are trying to do is, from a regulator’s point of view, we are trying to assess these complaints that are coming in and to put a sort of guideline for it,” she said.

During the consultations, some stakeholders advised the Board to include the agency’s TIN number and property number to avoid any ambiguity.

Stakeholders at the national consultation in Labasa last year.   Photo: REALB

Stakeholders at the national consultation in Labasa last year. Photo: REALB

Regulating of the commission

At the consultations, majority of the agents had refused to have their commissions regulated.

“When it was put out to them that there will be a ceiling to regulate the commission, they were reluctant,” Ms Tuimanu said.

“They say that it is a small market in Fiji compared to Queensland or New South Wales, where we derived this approach from.”

At this stage, the Board has not made any comments regarding this but as an indirect way of approaching it, the Board will require agents to include the standardised provisions in their agreements.

She adds that Fiji’s real estate industry is not small but is a growing industry that is very capable and viable.

Feedback:  monica.aguilar@fijisun.com.fj

 

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