Maryna holds the BA, LLB, LLM degrees and is a Director at the Cape Town offices of STBB. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public and Conveyancer with many years of experience in the field of property law and conveyancing. She is also the firm's Marketing Director and attends to external publications for the firm as well as conducts ongoing training for estate agent and bankers training and is a regular seminar presenter for attorneys and property practitioners.

Property Practitioners Act | Instalment 9

Less red tape and good news

In case you missed our previous instalments.
Instalment #1
Instalment #2
Instalment #3
Instalment #4
Instalment #5
Instalment #6
Instalment #7
Instalment #8

This is #9 in our short series of instalments on all the new things to bear in mind with the coming into operation of the Property Practitioners Act on 1 February 2022.

In this instalment we change tack and highlight some hidden but valuable bits of information from the regulations, to lighten the load of coming to terms with the new Act.

  1. ONLINE PORTALS
    • Parties who are considered to be property practitioners simply because they provide a portal for the advertisement of properties for sale by estate agents, can apply for exemption from the provisions of the Act. That it is assumed that they will do so, appears from the wording of regulation 41.15, which states that where someone applies for exemption who “acts solely as a conduit or platform for the placing of advertisements by property practitioners, such exemption should in the absence of other considerations relating to protecting the interests of consumers, be granted.”
    • Note though that this practitioner will have to apply every three years for the exemption to be renewed, and exemptions may be revoked by the Authority.
  2. TAX AFFAIRS
    • Regulation 41.19 is quoted in full. It states that: “Other than for sole proprietors, all property practitioners who are natural persons will, upon making application for a Fidelity Fund certificate, be deemed by the fact of such application itself to have applied for exemption from the provisions section 50 (vii) of the Act and the Authority must by default grant such exemption.”
    • Section 50 (vii) relates to the provision in the Act that deals with disqualification from being issued with a FFC. Subregulation (vii) prohibits the Authority from issuing a FFC to someone who is not in possession of a valid tax clearance certificate.
    • Thus, regulation 41.19 has the effect that all natural person estate agents (excepting sole practitioners) are automatically assumed to have applied for, and have been granted, an exemption from the requirement to submit a tax clearance certificate.
    • It is not necessary to make a formal application for this default exemption.
  3. BBBEE CERTIFICATE
    • Regulation 41.20 is also quoted in full. It states: “All property practitioners who are natural persons will, upon making application for a Fidelity Fund certificate, be deemed by the fact of such application itself to have applied for exemption from the provisions of section 50 (x) of the Act and the Authority must by default grant such exemption.”
    • Section 50(x) relates to the provision in the Act that deals with disqualification from being issued with a FFC, and subregulation (x) deals with the requirement to be in possession of a valid BBBEE certificate. Thus it is clarified, if this was even necessary, that natural person estate agents need not obtain BBBEE certificates.

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