Career & Education

Real estate traders urged to keep up with laws

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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The Real Estate Board/the Commission of Strata Corporations is urging its members to keep current with their real estate training, especially as regards compliance with the Proceeds of Crime Act.

To that end, it is now requiring real estate practitioners to do 20 hours of training biennially, eight of which will be mandatory. To support the new push, it has launched a Real Estate Training Institute, which will provide anti-money laundering training as well as continuous education training for both practitioners and people who are interested in other aspects of real estate.

Speaking at a recent JIS Think Tank, chief executive officer of the board Sandra Watson Garrick explained that in November 2013, it became mandatory for all real estate dealers and salesmen to comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act.

“As part of knowing what to comply with, training is a requirement of the law, and so we have to ensure that that training is provided. So, the board organises and ensures that the professionals have access to that training,” the CEO explained.

Additionally, she said that people also need to be aware of the Registration Strata Titles Act, so that when they are marketing real estate they are able to guide their clients properly.

The CEO stressed the importance of participating in the continuous education training, noting that the “industry, as it began in 1988 when the Real Estate (Dealers and Developers) Act was passed, is nothing like it is now, as so much has happened that persons need to be aware of so that they do not misinform the public”.

“The whole aim is to ensure that we have people coming out of our training who can pass on good information to members of the public and guide them in their purchase of real estate,” said Garrick.

Additionally, she said that people involved in property management also need to be aware of the requirements under each Act.

She said that as part of the board's mandate, public education, as well as continuous education of those in the industry, has to be done, as there are constant amendments to The Proceeds of Crime Act as well as numerous requirements from the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, an organisation that implements countermeasures against money laundering.

The Real Estate Board regulates practitioners in the real estate industry; registers and licences real estate dealers and salespeople; registers real estate developers and conducts monitoring to ensure compliance with the law and protection of the purchasers involved in transactions.

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