Estate agents to blame for delays in issuing FFCs – EAAB
Estate agents are to blame for delays in the issuing of Fidelity Fund Certificates, according to the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB).
“Agents submitting incorrect documents; for example ID copies that are not certified, letters of employment not signed by the principal agent but by office managers, and wrong reference numbers (other than the uniquely assigned 7-digit reference number) used when making payments makes it impossible for the EAAB to allocate payments,” the Board said.
In a statement in response to questions from HomeTimes, the EAAB said 49,645 Fidelity Fund Certificates (FFC) were issued in the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. The FFCs were for estate agents, principals and estate agencies.
“New FFCs are required to be issued within 21 days but usually are issued earlier than 21 days if all documents submitted online are compliant,” said the EAAB. “Renewals are required to be issued within five days but usually are issued earlier than five days if the correct reference number is used when making a payment. The printing of FFCs is virtual and not manual.
“We urge estate agents to use the technology we have created for them aimed at improving our services. We have moved away from doing things manually. As such, we encourage all estate agents to embrace this change.”
The EAAB statement says no one “can trade without an FFC as this is contravention of Section 26 of the Estate Agency Affairs Act, 112 of 1976. Just as no person is allowed to drive a car without a driver’s licence, agents are not allowed to trade without FFCs. The issuing of FFCs is (thus) a legal requirement.”
The EAAB has not yet responded to further questions by HomeTimes.
Christo Weilbach, President of the Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA) confirms that the majority of problems “arise when estate agents either capture their information incorrectly, upload the incorrect documents or upload documents that do not contain the correct information. The use of incorrect reference numbers when making deposits into the EAAB’s bank account also compounds this issue.”
He concedes that problems with the electronic system at the EAAB can also, at times, contribute to the delays. The EAAB’s slow response to some email queries is also an issue.
IEASA has set up a series of workshops for estate agents to provide training in the correct way to register online for FFCs.
“Based on the act a new FFC must be issued annually,” said Weilbach. “The FFC is valid for a full year but can be revoked at any time due to misconduct.”
He points out that the issuing of a temporary FFC will require an amendment to the Estate Agency Affairs Act which is unlikely “as the Property Practitioners Bill is on the horizon”.
“However, should such an amendment be considered, the added process around the management of issuing these ‘pending or temporary FFCs’ could have unintended consequences within the environment, for example by increasing costs to agents and agencies.”
Follow us as we uncover more on this developing story
The Institute of Estate Agents of South Africa (IEASA) has set up a schedule of workshops being run after IEASA regional annual meetings at which Joseph Sakoneka, registrations manager at the EAAB, will do a presentation on the FFC registration and renewal process. He will also take questions.
“Anybody may attend the presentations but prior booking on the IEASA website is required to ensure a seat,” says IEASA’s Christo Weilbach. “Access to the actual AGM meetings is restricted to registered IEASA members only.”
For bookings and further information visit: http://www.ieasa.co.za/pub/trainingevent/home.
Weilbach says estate agents can apply for IEASA membership by contacting the relevant regional offices directly. Find contact details at: http://www.ieasa.co.za/pub/contact.
Dates and locations of AGMs and presentations
|Border – East London||29 August 2018|
|North – Pretoria||13 September 2018|
|Pietermaritzburg||26 September 2018|
|KZN – Durban||27 September 2018|
|Gauteng Central – Johannesburg||3 October 2018|
|Western Cape – Cape Town||4 October 2018|
Words: Blake Wilkins