The Times They Are a-Changin’
These Bob Dylan lyrics jump to mind when one reacts to the continuous introduction of new laws or amendments to existing laws, especially in the property industry sphere. In the past three weeks we reported on the new Agricultural Land Holdings Bill and the Property Practitioners Bill. This week there is the Amendment Bill to the Home Loan and Mortgage Disclosure Act, also published in the past month.
The suggested amendments introduce (i) changes to eliminate possible conflict of interest in the Office of Disclosures; (ii) increased powers of this Office to interview officials at financial institutions, to impose penalties and to mediate complaints received from the public; and (iii) increased reporting obligations of financial institutions regarding the volume of home loan applications they receive, approve or decline as well as reasons why applications are declined. The aim is to curb alleged discrimination in these applications and to assist the Department of Human Settlements to develop policies to enhance affordability and access to finance.
The Amendment Bill can be viewed here and is open for public comment is 30 April.