EAAB clamps down on illegal estate agent trading in Cape Town
The Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) has declined to identify the person who laid a complaint against Heads Residential Property on a second count of illegal trading without a Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) required in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act.
The Cape Town agency, headed by Jonathan Bronkhorst, was fined R25,000 recently for trading in 2017 without a Fidelity Fund Certificate.
The board said in a statement that it “cannot disclose the name of the complainant in order to protect their identity as whistle blowers. The board investigates complaints and then prepares the matter for a hearing which is done by a disciplinary committee consisting of independent lawyers (not EAAB staff) who then pronounce on guilt and a sanction.”
Several estate agencies and a few members of the public filed complaints against Heads’ non-compliance over a period of several years. They say that Heads had operated without Fidelity Fund certification for about seven years and only since 2018 has had an FFC. In the past, property owners had been advised by the EAAB not to use the services of Heads as the agency was not compliant.
Following the recent article on this website about Heads Residential Property, HomeTimes received information that estate agent Alje Elibert Homan, owner of the now-liquidated Cape Urban Village Properties CC, had received an FFC (reference 0517146) despite the fact that Homan’s company Cape Urban Village Properties (Pty) Ltd had been placed in final liquidation.
When this issue was brought to the attention of the EAAB, the board stated that “In terms of section 16(4) of the EAAB Act, no Fidelity Fund Certificate shall be issued unless the provisions of the Act are complied with and any Fidelity Fund Certificate issued in contravention of the Act shall be invalid and shall be returned to the board at its request.
“If indeed the estate agency is in liquidation (evidence in this regard must be provided) the former principal or director registered with us as a director cannot trade again without the consent of the board (see section 28(5)(7) of the Act).”
HomeTimes has provided the EAAB with a copy of the relevant page of the Government Gazette of 12 January 2018 on which the final liquidation order of Cape Urban Village Properties (Pty) Ltd was published.
Six weeks ago the EAAB completed research aimed at identifying improved methods of bringing to book the perceived increasing number of estate agents operating illegally.
HomeTimes asked the board for a copy of the report arising from the research findings.
“As indicated previously the report is being finalised and once done will be tabled to the board and subsequently to the public. At this stage we are unable to provide it as it is still work in progress.”
Words: Blake Wilkins