Real Estate Agents were urged to renew their licence application two months prior to date of expiry.
Acting chief executive officer Virisila Tuimanu emphasised this at their REALB talanoasession yesterday at Albert Park conference room. She said it was the requirement under the law.
“Two months prior to expiry, they need to submit their licences and this is something that we continuously remind them of,” she said.
“Some say that they have totally forgotten about it.
“We’ve had situations where licenses are three months old after expiry then the agents realise it has expired.
“Before two months, each and every agent is required to have all their papers submitted in order.
“This will allow enough time for objections. If there’s any other agent in the room or any other person objects the application of renewal, that’s the time they can file their objection papers. The board is required by law to call the hearing, hear the objection and make the ruling.”
Ms Tuimanu said filing of documents beforehand makes it easy for them as regulators to submit their reports to the board.
When queried about the penalties for late submission, she said: “We haven’t been giving any penalties but there is a provision in the law for the late application fees.”
Police on board.
Ms Tuimanu said the board was working towards signing a memorandum of understanding with the Police to strengthen their relationship.
“The Police have been so helpful so far.
“All our complaints that are outside the jurisdiction of our act, these includes all our unlicensed agent complaints, we refer the matter to the Police.
“My observation is, if everything is in order, evidence all in place, it doesn’t take long for the Police to take those matters in court.
“One or two matters are in court at the moment for people operating without a licence.
“We are thankful to the Police for that.”
Other points discussed
An agent cannot just buy land from their clients.
Ms Tuimanu said: “Generally that’s what the law doesn’t allow, but in the event if you want to buy a piece of land your client is selling, you have to obtain the consent of your client.
“No commission is payable to you if you are involved in that transaction.
“You cannot sell the land you are selling to your child or your spouse.
During the talanoa session, the importance of having Fiji National Provident Fund compliance was also highlighted. This includes the employment contract, the core responsibilities and offences and penalties.
This article was originally published in the Fiji Sun newspaper on February 20, 2018.