The Real Estate Board (REB) is reminding professionals to renew their real estate licence by the August 31 deadline.
“Professionals who practise after the August 31 expiration of their licence, without renewal, are, in fact, practising illegally,” Chief Executive Officer of the REB, Sandra Garrick told JIS News.
She said that in accordance with regulations, dealers and salesmen are allowed to pay the annual licence fee in two instalments on April 1 and September 1.
The April 1 payment covers the period up to August 31, with the second half due September 1, covering the period up to March 31.
“It has become standard for a number of practitioners to take the entire month of April and September as the payment period, while still practising during those months and making payment at some point therein, and we want to curb this,” Mrs. Garrick said.
As per Section 10 (1) of the Real Estate Dealers and Developers Act, anyone who conducts business without a valid licence does so illegally.
If someone practises after the renewal deadlines, without having paid for a new licence, any transactions done over that period are illegal.
While the REB allows for a 30-day payment period without penalty, Mrs. Garrick noted that practising with an expired licence can result in criminal charges if brought before the courts.
“Recent indications are that our practitioners are still not aware of this fact despite our best efforts. While the Board would not be against extending leniency in such a situation (where someone practices within that 30-day window without payment), we cannot guarantee that the courts or prosecutors will be as lenient in their approach,” Mrs. Garrick said.