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Property Practitioners Bill at advanced stage

2021-12-03  Maihapa Ndjavera

Property Practitioners Bill at advanced stage
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The Namibia Estate Agents Board (NEAB) has been working on the Namibia Property Practitioners Bill, which is close to finalisation.

“The Bill is intended to transform the landscape of the property market by establishing an appropriate institutional and legal framework responsive to the current realities,” said Lucia Iipumbu, trade minister, at the estate agents’ information sharing roadshow meeting in Windhoek this week.

In addition to licensing traditional estate agents, the Bill has introduced the licensing of, among others, auctioneers, property developers, and property managers who will collectively be known as property practitioners to adequately protect consumers of agency services.

Iipumbu stated there are limitations in the existing legal framework for the effective regulation of the industry: “It is, therefore, crucial that the legal and institutional [framework] be tested against current and future needs and comparisons be made with the developments taking place regionally and internationally to establish the relevance and effectiveness.”

She noted the current Act is limiting and excludes various property practitioners operating as estate agents such as property developers, from the application of the Act. Such limitations, according to her, have necessitated the revision of the Estate Agents Act and the introduction of the proposed Namibia Property Practitioners Bill.

Furthermore, Iipumbu said, the Act makes certain acts criminally punishable by persons who are not properly registered as estate agents.
“One of the actions criminalised by the Act is that of conducting business as an estate agent without being issued with a valid fidelity fund certificate. 

Each certificate issued is valid until 31 December of that respective year,” she explained.
The minister noted that estate agents who work without being registered pose a financial and reputational risk to estate agents who are properly registered. 

She requested for individuals to assist NEAB by reporting these rogue agents.

On the same occasion, NEAB CEO Festus Unengu said the information sharing roadshow is part of the mandate of the NEAB to inform estate agents on the latest trends in the industry and also to hear of all the challenges and experiences in the industry.

2021-12-03  Maihapa Ndjavera

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