Real estate professionals are being advised against practising without valid authorisation and accepting payment for jobs they are not licensed or registered to perform.
This is especially important, since all permits are set to expire on March 31, the end of the 2022-2023 financial year.
The renewal period for dealers, salesmen, developers, and strata corporations will subsequently open on April 1.
BREACH OF THE LAW
Cresfroid Brown, acting chief operation officer (COO) of the Real Estate Board, which regulates
the industry, stressed that persons practising without official permission are in breach of the law.
“It is a criminal offence, and we can take action through the courts, or we can conduct an inquiry under our Real Estate (Dealers and Developers) Act, in terms of ensuring compliance,” he told the Jamaica Information Service.
“You are putting your profession at risk when you have matters before the regulator for which you are non-compliant. Also, you are putting prospective clients at risk in terms of their investment,” Brown continued.
Practitioners are encouraged to follow the ambit of the law by paying the prescribed fees within the allowed timeframe.
Licence fees for dealers and salesmen are $44,000 and $22,000, respectively, and can be paid in two parts in April and September.
‘CREATURES OF STATUTE’
For developers, the renewal registration fee is determined by the number of lots or units at a property and ranges from $40,000 to $99,000.
“If you are having difficulties, you can come to us. We are creatures of statute, so we have to operate within the confines of the Act, so contact our Customer Service Department Inspectorate and we [will] see how best we can assist,” the COO said.
Real estate professionals must also be in good standing before attempting to renew the authorisations.
Those who need training must do so, and salesmen must obtain a letter from their associated dealer to prove their affiliation.