Calls For Amendment To Real Estate Act

Thursday 17th, March 2011 / 09:32 Published by

Former two-time President of the Bahamas Real Estate Association, Pat Strachan, is calling on the government of the Bahamas to amend the Real Estate Brokers and Salesman Act (1995).  The government erred when it incorporated the Bahamas Real Estate Association into the Real Estate Board.

In all jurisdictions where the Real Estate profession is legislated, the Real Estate Board or the body responsible for regulating by law the profession of Real Estate are appointed by the government and the association officers are elected by its members.  Citing the state of Florida, the department of Professional Regulation, a government entity is responsible for appointing officers to that board.

However, an association in the state of Florida, for example, Fort Lauderdale, members in Fort Lauderdale are responsible for electing its officers in the Fort Lauderdale Association.  The Attorney General ought to do the right thing and lead the way in amending the Act.

The proper process to do is for the government of the Bahamas to appoint officers to the Real Estate Board and BREA members elect their officers.  As it presently exists, the Chairman of the Real Estate Board and the President of the Bahamas Real Estate Association is one and the same.  And therein lies the conflict.

The regulatory body responsible for issuing licenses should not be a part of the general membership.  The former President noted that the present Board may be committing an unfair and unconstitutional act, when it publishes the names of unlicensed persons.

According to the Act, dues are due on December 31st.  However, the Act gives the individual until June 30th of the following year to pay for their license.  Persons’ names whose dues are paid by December 31st are entitled to have their names gazetted by January 31st of the following year.  And if those persons whose dues were not paid by December 31st. pay afterwards, their names should be gazetted by June 30th of that year.

What is unlawful is that BREA has been publishing the names of persons who have not paid by December 31st.  Not only is that illegal but it gives the impression that the individual may have committed an unethical act.  To make matters worst and why I’ve concluded that the present leadership has taken the association back fifty years, those individuals who have not paid by December 31st are being made to reapply for admission back into BREA.

I’m shocked that none of those persons have challenged this blatant act in the courts.  Citing the Multiple Listing Service as the straw that will break the camel’s back.  The Past President noted that again in no jurisdiction where the Real Estate profession is legislated, is the Real Estate Board associated with the MLS.  All Multiple Listing Service are a private entity.  And that is the way it ought to be.

The fact of the matter is that members’ license dues have been bank rolling the MLS and in two years the Association will be bankrupt.  It is unlawful to use members’ license dues to finance what ought to be run by a private entity.

An additional policy implemented by BREA considered unconstitutional is the Professional Indemnity Insurance forced on its appraisers.  It should be incumbent upon the banks to accept or reject an appraisal done by a licensed member of BREA.  It should be the banks who insist on appraisers having the Professional Indemnity Insurance.

The Act only talks about the requirements to be licensed as an appraiser.  This may be an unlawful act carried out by the Board to insist that its members have the insurance before they can be licensed.

Source: BREA

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