Maryna holds the BA, LLB, LLM degrees and is a Director at the Cape Town branch of STBB. She is an admitted Attorney, Notary Public, Conveyancer and Insolvency Practitioner with many years of experience in the fields of property law, conveyancing and the laws relating to corporate compliance (especially in respect of the FICA and POPIA laws). Up until 2018 she was also head of the firm’s national marketing portfolio. She is a seasoned public speaker and presenter, both in person and online. She prepares text for the majority of STBB’s internal and external publications and is editor and co-writer for two pivotal publications in the South African real estate industry – the ABC of Conveyancing (JUTA) and Delport’s South African Property Law and Practice (JUTA).

Thought of the week | NO FFC, NO COMMISSION – UNLESS YOUR DUCKS WERE IN A ROW

Estate agents are not entitled to earn commission on transactions they negotiated successfully if they were not, at the time of conclusion of the agreement, in possession of a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate. This requirement is a consumer protection measure as estate agents make obligatory contributions to a Fidelity Fund and the certificate is confirmation that their levy liability to this Fund, is up to date.  In this way members of the public are assured of reimbursement in the event of misappropriation of their monies by an estate agent.

In an important judgment handed down by the Supreme Court of Appeal last week, it was held that in certain very narrow instances, an estate agent will not be precluded from claiming commission where the Fidelity Fund Certificate was not in place at the relevant time. That matter related to an instance where the estate agent had timeously submitted all documents to the Estate Agency Affairs Board, the latter however accidentally issuing an incorrect certificate in the name of a non-existing entity. This error was subsequently corrected, with retrospective effect. The Court held that their claim for commission in this instance could not be thwarted by the argument that they were not in possession of a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate at the time.

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