Regulation of the Real Estate Industry

Estate Agency regulation

Government has put forward legislation to license real estate agents, real estate brokers, and property consultants.

The proposed legal framework brings about much-needed regulation in the sector, Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius said.

Licences issued under the new act will be valid for five years, with holders then expected to undergo further training to have it renewed.

Persons who carry out more than four property transactions per year are designated as estate agents and must be trained and licensed, with those who do not exceed this threshold being exempted from the licensing requirement.

This act regulates how the licence is granted and can be revoked in cases of proven misbehaviour, said government consultant Robert Musumeci, who worked on the reform.

Agents who have their licence revoked may also have access to legal remedy through an appeals process.

It also gives a framework on how estate agents are to be paid, offering guidelines based on the provisions of the civil code. Estate agents can now demand payment for the work they put in for transactions which, for whatever reason, did not take place.

Training is another new requirement for all regulated persons under the new act, which comes after months of intensive talks with all stakeholders, including the Developers’ Association, brokers, and long-standing real estate market players.

The licences will be granted upon the completion of a training course that is to be offered by the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (Mcast), consisting of between 8 and 12 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS).

Agius meanwhile said the reform had followed a white paper launched by his predecessor back in 2016.

The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) was also consulted as part of the proposed reform as according to the fourth anti-money laundering directive, estate agents are considered “subject persons”, Agius said.

The consultation period is open until the 26 March. 

News Source:-  Malta Today

External link to previous White paper: White Paper about property code and regulations for Malta

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