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Property Practitioners Act 22 of 2019

The Property Practitioners Act of 2019 (“Act”) (commencement date still to be announced), repeals the 43-year-old Estate Agency Affairs Act of 1976 (Act 112 of 1976).

It is a substantial piece of legislation, comprising 77 sections dealing with all aspects of the real estate profession.

The stated objectives of the Act go far beyond those of the old legislation. The new Act also governs more of the role players in the property industry due to the wide definition given to “Property Practitioners”. The legislature has created an Act that intends, not only to regulate the real estate industry, but also to promote transformation whilst fulfilling a consumer protection function as well. The stated objects of the Act can be summarised as follows:

  • To regulate “Property Practitioners”;
  • To replace the Estate Agency Affairs Board with the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority, which will have wider jurisdiction;
  • To protect and promote the interests of consumers;
  • To provide for internal dispute resolution mechanisms in the property market;
  • To provide for the education, training and development of Property Practitioners and candidate Property Practitioners;
  • To regulate the licensing of Property Practitioners;
  • To create a just and equitable legal framework for the industry for the marketing, managing, financing, letting, renting, sale and purchase of property;
  • To promote meaningful participation of historically disadvantaged individuals and small, micro and medium enterprises in the property market;
  • To establishment the Property Sector Transformation Fund;
  • To provide for the transformation of the property market that promote home ownership in the affordable and secondary housing market;
  • To respond to and implement directives received from the Minister, from time to time.

The effect that the Act will ultimately have on the industry remains to be seen and will depend on how this ambitious piece of legislation will be implemented by the Regulatory Authority it establishes, and the interpretation of the courts of the wording of the Act.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)