Kenya Real Estate Agents are set to face a new test soon as the government through a new bill presented at the Attorney General Office plans to rolls out a crackdown on more than 40,000 agents operating in the country.
According to the Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB), the property industry in the country has only 402 licensed individuals allowed to run real estate agencies, the rest have been branded as fraudsters.
The amendment bill suggests that “No individual will be allowed to transact business in order to receive commission, rewards or payments if they are not licenced by EARB”. Moreover the bill directs that no individual will be allowed to use phrases like ‘property manager’, ‘real estate agent’, ‘realtor’, ‘land agent’, ‘land broker’, ‘leasing agent’, ‘letting agent’, ‘estate agent’ without a valid license.
The act will also require agents to have completed their O’ levels with a KCSE certificate accompanied by at least a real estate certificate in any related field approved by EARB. In addition one must have 1 year of experience working for a registered real estate agency, be a member of a professional body recognized by the board and fulfill all requirements on Chapter six of the Kenya constitution.
EARB chairperson Nelly Mbugua said that the law seeks to restore order and boost public confidence in real estate agencies amid cases of cons.
“These amendments are meant to streamline the real estate industry in Kenya to make sure only professionals are allowed to operate”, said Ms Mbugua.
Individuals found operating as real estate agents without valid licenses will be fined US $10000 up from the current US $200 and they will not be entitled for payments on services offered. The current law only requires Kenyans to be of good character to be able to operate.