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The Property Practitioners Act (PPA) is new legislation that will replace the current act regulating estate agents.
When does it come into effect?
The legislator has not yet determined the date, but the state is in a hurry. Probably before 2020.
Who will be regarded as an Estate Agent?
The definition of an estate agent is much wider and includes any person who markets, sells, lets and collects rental as well as a mortgage originator (a person who applies for bond finance) and any person who administers immovable property (“real estate”) for a client, a body corporate and home owners association. In short, any person who receives any form of compensation on behalf of an owner or developer to sell or rent or manage their property.
What other important changes will come into effect?
It is important for sellers and purchasers to know that:
- Nobody may perform or receive commission for any work reserved for agents unless they are qualified and in possession of a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate. This will include persons, not currently registered as agents, appointed by developers or property owners to sell their property.
- The agent must obtain a written mandate from the seller before they are allowed to market or sell property and the mandate must include a marketing plan with a clear indication of the marketing steps they will take.
- The seller must, at their own cost, provide a deed of sale and a defects list for a transaction. In other words, the agent may not perform this function for you.
- The agent may not refer or influence the appointment of any service provider including the conveyancer, electrician, bond originator, etcetera, relating to the transaction.
What are the benefits for the public?
- Attorneys are exempted from the PPA and may sell on behalf of sellers and customise a deed of sale and defects list thereby giving the seller more say regarding the specific terms of the deed of sale.
- The transfer process be will be faster because the seller’s attorney can do the necessary homework about title conditions, rates clearances and the like even before a sale is made cutting out possible delays even before they become reality.
- The purchaser can likewise discuss finances with an attorney of choice who will often be willing to negotiate bond fees and arrange bond finance in advance.
Both sellers and purchasers are encouraged to consult with an attorney of their choice before signing a mandate for the agent or making an offer to purchase.
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)