Opinion: New Bill will not stop illegal trading
Jim Alexander from PropertyTime Mossel Bay wrote:
I have interacted with Rebosa on this issue and have read the new draft Property Practitioner’s Bill (PPB) and sent my comments to the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (Ieasa).
In my opinion, Rebosa are grasping at straws if they think/hope/believe the PPB should address the issue.
We seem to be missing the point that, as I emphasised to Rebosa, the real culprits here are principals who are allowing/encouraging these illegals to operate.
Yes, there are illegals operating on their own ‘from the boot of their car’, but there are many who are operating under local, and national agencies with the full approval of the local owner manager or franchisee.
So, all that needs to be done to circumvent the PPB’s requirement on attorneys is for all Orders to purchase (OTPs) to be directly linked with the principal, who is in possession of a FFC. The principal then pays the illegal. Simple!
There is only one way to solve this, and it is to stylise a system like the one below that I reported to Rebosa some time back.
If this system could allow for the capture of income tax numbers and payment to both the selling agent AND the agency, on transfer both will be paid independently of each other. Then the amounts are automatically reported to SARS and reconciled with year-end tax submissions.
This would resolve another prevalent industry mal-practice, that of some principals illegally reducing or withholding commission from agents when they resign after the sale but before transfer goes through.
So, in summary, I believe much greater effort needs to go into minimising, if not eliminating the industry scourge of illegals and if it were possible to stop the activities of all of them overnight, I do not believe the industry would grind to a halt.
All that would happen would be that the legal, fee and CPD-paying (Continuing Professional Development) agents would need to work very hard for quite some time. I for one would be willing to do that, especially for a piece of the R1,5 billion!!
There is another, very quick way to tackle this illegal problem and make a serious dent in their activities and that is to get advertising outlets to insist on agents having to submit their Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) BEFORE they are allowed to advertise. When I engaged with P24 some time back, they said they were waiting on ‘instructions’ from the Board, whatever that means!
I have no legal background but is it not ‘aiding and abetting’ to provide criminals with a mechanism (listing portal) which implies legality without checking credentials?
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