Can an Estate Agent be Accredited to Operate in a Specific Estate?
Estate living is a popular choice for many homeowners as the residents enjoy added security, community enjoyment of a fenced area and often many other benefits.
Over the years, to add to security and to reduce the number of visitors to an estate, estate management would only allow specific real estate agents to operate in their estate. These chosen agents were required to pay an accreditation fee and follow specific rules set out by the estate management team. While this may offer some peace of mind to the estate community, this practice is no longer legal or acceptable in terms of the Property Practitioners Act that was promulgated in 2022.
The term ‘accreditation’ has been adjusted to ‘administrative fee’ and other invoice item names at certain estates to maintain this practice. However, whatever name is given to allowing exclusive rights to specific real estate agents is deemed a prohibited act by the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (PPRA). Transformation and inclusivity feature extensively in the Property Practitioners Act of 2019 (PPA), and several clauses clarify the requirement for estate management and homeowners to be aware of the legal requirements.
As a regulating authority, the PPRA has the right to deregister and fine Property Practioners who disregard the compliance requirements. Specific sections of the Act should be considered, specifically section 63(1), read with regulation 35.1, which stipulates that the Minister of Human Settlements declared the following business practices undesirable and therefore prohibited:
18.104.22.168 – any arrangement in terms of which any party or person that directly or indirectly controls or manages any residential property development, including any Body Corporate or Homeowners’ Association (the managing organisation).
22.214.171.124 – receives money or any other reward in exchange for a benefit, advantage, or other forms of preferential treatment in respect of the marketing of properties in such property development.
126.96.36.199 – effectively provides an advantage to any one property practitioner or group of property practitioners over and above any other property practitioners in providing services in relation to properties in such property development or,
188.8.131.52 – effectively excludes or disadvantages any property practitioner or group of property practitioners from being able to provide services in relation to properties in such property development.
The PPRA encourage the public to report transgressions or lodge specific complaints via a completed prescribed form available on their website, www.theppra.org.za. This completed form and supporting documents can be sent to their legal department via email to [email protected].