Thinking Inside the Box

A Paddocks Sectional Title Lifestyle Blog

Forthcoming Property Practitioners Act

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By Graham Paddock

The Property Practitioners Bill was first proposed in 2013. Parliament has now adopted the latest version (reference B21-2018). The next step is for the President to sign the Bill, bringing it into force as the Property Practitioners Act. It will replace the Estate Agency Affairs Act . This is expected to happen later this year.

So what can we expect from the Property Practitioners Act of 2018? The short answer is: Important and far-reaching changes, but not for some time.

The most striking aspects of the legislation are:

  1. the wide range of property-related business activities the law seeks to regulate;
  2. its focus on market transformation, and
  3. the introduction of another Ombud service that will deal with property industry disputes.

The definition of property practitioners does not include lawyers or financial institutions. But it covers almost all other industries in who deal with property. It covers:

  • Property developers, managing agents, estate agents as well as anyone else, who facilitates a sale or lease agreement,
  • Those who offer timeshare and life rights, auctioneers, business brokers and rent collectors,
  • Home inspectors and bridging financiers.

The Minister can also in future restrict any other specified service to property practitioners.

Part (c) of the definition of “property practitioner” refers to: “any person who for remuneration manages a property on behalf of another”. This covers all types of managing agents as well as paid trustees. They will have to register with the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority, hold a fidelity fund certificate and abide by a code of conduct. Under section 32(1)(b) property practitioners will have to pay fees to fund the PPRA, so get ready for a new set of taxes.

The Act addresses the transformation of the South African property market in detail. The Property Sector Transformation Charter will apply to all property practitioners.The Authority will have an inspectorate with very wide powers.

Because the Act deals with so many activities, it could take some time to settle the text of the regulations and bring the new law into operation. The new regulations will detail the Authority’s and the Ombud’s operations, set out the fees payable and include a code of conduct. Given the very wide range of commercial activities concerned, we expect that this will be a substantial task.

Those who will be affected should now study the legislation and start thinking about how they can work with other people who have similar interests to give input to the Department of Human Settlements on the regulations once these are published for comment.

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This entry was posted on September 25, 2019 by in Legal, Uncategorized and tagged .

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