Explained: the Real Estate Agent Authority Bill

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The Real Estate Agent Authority Bill was introduced to the National Assembly on the 17th July 2020 by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Housing and Land Use Planning, Steven Obeegadoo, amid the Government’s bid to boost the industry.

The main objective behind this Bill is to regulate and control the business activities of real estate agents, land promoters and property developers for a more secure and conducive real estate industry. The end objective is to create a climate of trust and confidence among the main stakeholders.

One of the highlights of this document is, first of all, the establishment of a Real Estate Agent Authority which will have such powers to control the licenses of real estate agents by :

  • registering
  • renewing or otherwise
  • suspending them, but also
  • enforcing such sanctions as prescribed in case of misconduct from any agent.

The Authority will itself be administered and managed by the Real Estate Agent Board which will ensure :

  • the skill and ability of agents as they pass the registration process, and
  • that they are legally bound to respect their obligations.

This Bill also imposes:

  • A common set of duties and obligations which all Real Estate Agents will have to abide by.
  • The setup of disciplinary measures and enforcing mechanisms such as a Disciplinary Committee.
  • Duties of financial reporting to ensure that the business activities of real estate agents strictly adhere to anti-money laundering practices.

As a whole, these measures aim at further regulating transactions and dealings within the sector, as a gage of legality toward investors and other stakeholders.

By establishing statutory requirements to act as a real estate agent, but also imposing duties on the profession, this new piece of legislation will therefore create a firm basis to protect all parties to a real estate transaction.

This Bill seems to come in as a logical step following the announcement of government incentives to help the growth of the construction sector to boost the economy in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis. It is also an important step towards creating a more conducive environment for the property development and real estate industry itself, which, hand in hand with the construction sector, are important drivers of Mauritian economic growth.

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