IT IS NOT THAT SIMPLE
As predicted last year, hundreds of agents were left without FFC’s at the beginning of 2019 (and some still are).
System issues as well as a lack of accountability at the EAAB once again caused severe financial loss to the industry and the frustration evident in the press and on social media platforms, is totally understandable.
We are pleased to announce that Ms Mamodupi Mohlala was appointed in the New Year as the new CEO of the EAAB and is by all accounts clearly making a difference. Needless to say, she faces enormous challenges to get things right that for so many years have been deteriorating on a regular basis.
Rebosa and other representative bodies are also criticised in social media – in this instance for not taking stronger action against the EAAB. This is accompanied by calls for boycotts and even a suggestion that agents should be encouraged to pay their fees into a trust account and not to the EAAB, pending positive outcomes. There is also mention of unionising the industry – whatever that might imply.
It is not that simple.
In fact, suggestions like these are downright irresponsible. Section 34 of the Estate Agency Affairs Act is unambiguous. Agents without FFC’s are not entitled to commission and sellers therefore don’t have to pay any commission. This is exacerbated in the Property Practitioners Bill because conveyancers will in future be prohibited from making such payment by law.
Putting your registration fees into a trust account while you are ‘fighting” with the EAAB will simply leave you destitute. In fact, it gets worse. Once you come to your senses and wish to re-register you will have to follow an extremely complicated procedure, face disciplinary hearings and pay a fine. Worst of all – it may take months to re-instate your registration, a fine would be the least of your worries. We urge you not to do this.
Please voice your concerns in any other legitimate manner but rather register timeously, comply with CPD requirements and ensure at all cost that you don’t fall foul of any directives from the EAAB as getting back on track will be a challenge.
One agent correctly stated in the social media that Rebosa is following a diplomatic strategy in its regular interactions with the EAAB in trying to address issues concerning all estate agents. This of course dos not always bear the fruits that one would like but at the same time, we can confirm that thousands of agents have benefitted from our interventions.
More importantly there does come a time when negotiation and diplomacy might be considered inadequate. Rebosa is willing to explore other options that may be available when necessary.
The call for boycotts etc. is premature and it is in everyone’s interest to give the newly appointed CEO a few months to effect the change she has promised us.
As agents we are also setting ourselves up for disappointment with expectations such as “the EAAB should represent us” etc. The EAAB is the regulator of the industry and will in fact, when the Property Practitioners Bill passes, be called “’The Authority” – that encapsulates it all.
Don’t expect anything but regulation of the industry from the board or “The Authority”.
For representation you need to join bodies like Rebosa. Rebosa has a proud history and a long list of achievements. To the degree that Rebosa is criticised, it must be noted that such criticism comes from individuals who have never taken the time to interact with Rebosa to determine the facts. We invite any estate agent to contact us for further information and assistance and would embrace debating the merits of belonging to Rebosa.
We support calls that the industry should unite in order to promote and protect itself – if we don’t do so, nobody else will.
Following a meeting with the EAAB we can confirm that an E-Logbook was launched in January 2019. It can be found on your MyEAAB agent portal under CPD. Communication in respect of the new E-Logbook will be sent on Friday 15 March 2019.
All interns may still submit the manual logbook. The e-logbook is meant for newly registered (2019) interns but they have still been afforded the choice to compile manual logbooks if they so wish.
The Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act, 2017 (FIC Amendment Act)
This is a reminder that compliance with the Act is effective 1 April 2019.
The EAAB have conducted some training sessions. Please find below the dates for the remainder of the training sessions.
Please also visit our website to access the FIC training presentation compiled by the EAAB https://www.rebosa.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/EAAB-FIC-Amendment-Act-presentation-presented-by-EAAB-14032019.pdf
We approached the EAAB regarding the availability of training iro FIC and received the following response from Mr Ashpol:-
“I would advise that the REBOSA representation concerning the possibility of including the FICA presentation in the e-learning programme has much merit and is presently being considered. It may also be possible to prepare a recording of the relevant CPD presentation so as to make the same available to all estate agents other than through recourse to the e-learning programme.
The possibilities are still being investigated and I will shortly revert to you in this respect.”
In addition our attorneys have confirmed the following in respect of Franchisee Risk Officers:-
In the context of a franchisor/franchisee relationship, we do not see that the franchisor’s Risk Officer would be liable for non-compliance by a franchisee which is an independently owned business operation with a separate legal identity (nothing in the legislation seems to indicate this and it would most likely be anomalous). There should however be consistency of RMCP’s across the various franchisees in order to avoid client confusion. Each separately owned franchisee should probably also have its own Risk Officer.
Below study material supplied by the EAAB on the FIC Amendment Act
Please Help Us To Help You
If you have received any communication from the EAAB that your payment has not been linked to your account then please take careful note of the following:-
The numeric 0 for agents whose 7 digit reference number beginning with “0”, does not reflect on EAABs system when agents make payments from ABSA bank accounts. The same applies that the alpha F is also dropped for firm payments. This has resulted in millions of rand sitting in the EAABs suspense account as payments cannot be allocated to agent reference numbers.
The EAAB are in consultation with ABSA to resolve this.
If you are an agent that banks with ABSA, have paid for CPD, FFC or any other services and your payment has not been allocated, kindly send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org containing only the following information, in order for us to assist having your payment allocated:-
EAAB 7 Digit reference number
Description of Payment: – e.g. CPD
Attached proof of payment.
Please note this is only for agents whose 7 digit reference number begins with “0” or Firm payments. We are also only in a position to assists if you provide us with the information detailed above.
We can assist all other agents who are waiting for payments to be linked. The same process applies.
Queries must be emailed to email@example.com
Following a meeting with the EAAB, it has been confirmed that the e-learning platform will be accessible from 8 April 2019.
Jan le Roux