SUNBIZ

Real Estate Agents Told Follow To Law

Real estate agents who deliberately follow the wrong side of the law were a growing worry for the industry, the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) said yesterday. Board chairman
22 Feb 2020 17:13
Real Estate Agents Told Follow To Law
Delegates during the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) 2020 Real Estate National Conference at the Pearl Resort, Pacific Harbour, on February 21, 2020. Photo: Fedrerica Elbourne

Real estate agents who deliberately follow the wrong side of the law were a growing worry for the industry, the Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) said yesterday.

Board chairman Abdul Hassan made the remark yesterday while addressing the participants of the second annual National Real Estate National Conference at The Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour.

The annual event is held to discuss challenges faced by the industry.

“Some agents deliberately choose to go to the wrong side of the law thinking they would by pass without REALB knowing about their actions and motives.

“There have been cases where performance of some agents was not up to standard and this is of great concern to the board.”

He said many trivial cases arose because of lack of dialogue.

“A few agents do not leave any stone unturned in accusing our officers of corrupt practise, and defaming the character of even board members.

“Our compliance team also receive threats when they investigate bogus agents.”

Mr Hassan said an active market in the real estate sector was a good indicator of a country’s progress.

“Many investors normally focus on the real estate sector before decisions are taken on any investment,” he said.

The last five years were marked with a steady growth in the real estate industry, which demonstrated willingness to invest in the sector, he said. The REALB, a Government statutory licensing body, was established in 2006 to control activities of real estate agents and has since faced challenges ranging from lack of powers to take stronger action against those violating the law.

“To rectify some of the shortcomings in the law, the Real Estate Agents Act was revised in 2011.

“However, in the subsequent years, further weaknesses were identified.The changes are needed on the expectations of the industry and the stakeholders.”

To address the matter, the board has since engaged in public consultations to revise the Act, Mr Hassan said.

He said the board hopes to introduce courses for salespersons in line with the industry Act.

“Hopefully, the programme will be finalised this year.”

The day long event involved 100 representatives from the real estate industry.

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj

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