We checked in with Sonja Wijnja, RentMaster’s Legal Manager to find out whether the Property Practitioners Act (PPA) is likely to affect landlords. Over to you, Sonja:
Firstly, the Act was signed by the president, but it is not yet effective and it is not clear when it will come into effect. We are currently following the old Estate Agency Affairs Act until the PPA becomes effective. For the record, the new Rental Housing Act was signed by the president about 3 years ago, and it is still not effective, so it might be a while still.
The PPA will not have a direct effect on private landlord as it regulates Estate Agents and not private individuals. There will probably be some knock-on effect for private landlords when selling their properties as the PPA will require estate agents to declare in writing any defects that a property might have. It is not clear whether the same will be required when renting out a property, but since landlords are already required to perform an ingoing inspection with the tenant under the Rental Housing Act, we do not foresee this having an impact on RentMaster landlords.
From the last draft that was presented to the public it seems that a lot of things will remain the same. The biggest changes are:
- The appointment of an ombud to whom issues may be escalated — the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) currently deals with issues internally. There will likely be some sort of fee payable by estate agencies which may have an impact on fees when landlords purchase or sell property through an agent.
- Estate agencies will have to become BEE complaint and have a BEE compliance certificate in order to trade. In addition, agencies will have to have not only a fidelity fund certificate, but also a tax clearance certificate.
For now, it seems that the training requirements for estate agents (logbook, exams etc) will remain the same but the power to amend this is given to the new PPA governing body.
For more information about the PPA, read TPN’s detailed article here