The Estate Agents Registration Board has expressed interest concerns over the upcoming associations seeking to regulate the real estate sector.
In a press briefing, the Chairperson of the board Eunice Macharia noted:
“We are here today to express concern over the proliferation of new associations seeking to regulate the real estate sector. Most of these are mutations of land buying companies that have previously swindled Kenyan Citizens, through pretenses that they are in a position to sell them land. We want to warn Kenyans that these groupings have no mandate to register estate agents. The associations are not registered or regulated by the government and any persons associating with them may be exposed to fraud and their interests vulnerable.
The board has tried reaching out to some of these groups but our efforts have been fruitless. This is largely attributable to the amorphous nature of the groupings and their unwillingness to comply with the law. The Estate Agents Act Cap 533 of the laws of Kenya clearly gives authority to EARB for the registration of persons who, by way of business, negotiate for or otherwise act in relation to the selling, purchasing, or letting of land and buildings on behalf of a property owner.
We therefore do not need another body purporting to do the same, for that would amount to double legislations jeopardizing the registered estate agents.
When it comes to professional association, The Institution of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK) is the professional body that brings together professionals who provide services in the Land and Property sector.
We would also like to warn members of the public against being misguided by unscrupulous land buying companies. In the past, we have seen the public losing money to these companies. They often promise heaven but deliver hell. We would urge property buyers to be diligent in their investments on land and ensure they are dealing with credible entities, specifically, those run by registered and licensed estate agents.
Anyone committing to a land deal should ensure they carry out due diligence on the titles, ensure the subdivision schemes are approved by the relevant county and national governments and the parcels have the requisite titles (not share certificates!). Buyers should avoid being enticed into false schemes through marketing gimmicks and freebies. Employing a professional to advise before commitment can save one a lot of loses and heartaches.
The Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB) is the regulatory body for the Estate Agency Practice in Kenya that derives its mandate from Estate Agents Act Cap 533. Our mandate is to register estate agents and to ensure the practice of estate agency is of high standards in order to protect the public.