Why posting vacant houses could attract Sh1M fine

Many advertise the vacant houses on posters and sometimes on social media

A poster advertising a vacant house for rent in one of Nairobi's residential estates (Twitter)

The Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB) has proposed a Sh1 million fine for all real estate agents found to be operating without a license.

This means that anyone one found to be acting as a real estate agent by representing the seller or buyer of a property, without due registration through the Board, will have committed an offense under the amended Estate Agents Act.

Quacks are currently fined Sh20,000 for the offense with the board asserting that there are over 40,000 unregistered agents currently working in Kenya.

"The amendments are targeted at streamlining the industry by ensuring that real estate products are sold by professionals," EARB chair Nelly Mbugua explained.

Proposed changes to Estate Agents Act

The proposed fines have been drafted in a Bill that is currently at the Attorney General's office.

Other changes added to the Bill include a minimum requirement of a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) for anyone seeking to join the profession.

In addition, the agents will be required to have a post-secondary certificate in real estate agency or a certificate in a related field recommended by the Board.

Mbugua stated that the changes will go a long way in eliminating quacks in the industry that has 700,000 registered agents.

Lands CS Farida Karoney has also supported the changes to the law stating that it would empower the board to deliver its functions and to live up to society’s expectation.

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