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Property Practitioners Bill gains momentum

Parliament’s Human Settlements Committee has on Tuesday been briefed on the bill that will replace the 42-year old Estate Agency Affairs Act.

FILE: Parliament of South Africa in Cape Town. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The introduction of a new bill aimed at transforming and better regulating A property market worth R6 trillion is gaining momentum.

Parliament’s Human Settlements Committee has on Tuesday been briefed on the bill that will replace the 42-year old Estate Agency Affairs Act.

A key feature of the bill is the establishment of an independent Ombuds office to deal with public complaints.

The Property Practitioners Bill will not only regulate the conduct of estate agents but also bond brokers, home inspectors, property managers and developers.

An independent authority will deal with disputes, the code of conduct of property practitioners and complaints from the public.

Director in the Human Settlements Department Khwezi Ngwenya said: “In the interest of the public we need to actually ensure that we advance, notwithstanding any other facts, the consumer protection.”

The new bill will allow inspectors with a warrant to seize documents from a property practitioner who will be required to store records for at least 10 years.

A transformation fund will also have to be established to compel the sector to transform and encourage the participation of more black professionals.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)