The Registrar of the Real Estate Authority (REA) has today published Guidelines for determining whether an applicant for a real estate licence is a fit and proper person. See the Fit and Proper Guidelines
This follows consultation with the industry, public and consumer advocates last month. The Fit and Proper Guidelines set out the principles and factors that the REA Registrar assesses when determining whether an applicant for a real estate licence is a fit and proper person, as required under section 36 of the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 (the Act).
REA Chief Executive/Registrar, Belinda Moffat, says publishing the Fit and Proper Guidelines will provide greater clarity and transparency for the real estate sector and public about how the Registrar makes its licensing decisions, and also provides assurance of the high standards that must be met to be a licensed real estate professional (licensee).
“People rely on licensees when making significant financial property decisions, and they often deal with them closely in terms of their homes, families and personal circumstances. Therefore, being able to trust that a licensees’ good character has been assessed appropriately is essential for clients’ piece of mind.
“The evaluation of an applicant or licensee renewing their licence is a forward-looking exercise that assesses their trustworthiness, integrity and honesty on a case-by-case basis. It’s important the Registrar also seeks to consider and assess any potential risk to public safety at the time of the application,” says Belinda.
While this assessment of licensees has always been undertaken, REA determined that it was appropriate to make clear guidelines available to licensees and the general public, to support transparency and also understanding of the regulatory framework for the real estate profession.
The draft Fit and Proper Guidelines were made available for public consultation from May to June 2022.
REA General Counsel, Phirak Appleton, says the feedback received on the consultation from both the industry and public was extremely beneficial.
“We received positive feedback from submitters on the draft Guidelines, including support for the clarity and thorough approach taken. We received helpful feedback in the consultation which assisted REA in refining the draft guidelines into their final version.”
Ms Moffat says publishing the Guidelines is part of REA’s commitment to harm prevention which is equally important alongside the complaints and discipline role REA plays. The Guidelines illustrate the high standards of integrity and trust expected of real estate agents, and demonstrates how the regulatory system operates to promote public confidence in the real estate profession.
“As a regulator, we will always seek to hold licensed real estate professionals to account for their conduct and character. However, we highly value the strategic role we have to play in supporting the industry to understand their obligations, and to meet the high standards expected of them. The licensing requirements to which these guidelines relate play a key role in helping prevent consumer harm from occurring.”
“We also aim to be clear with the industry as to our expectations, and with the public in terms of what they can expect from licensees and the property buying and selling process. The Fit and Proper Guidelines are the newest component of this strategy,” Belinda says.
The Fit and Proper Guidelines are now available
For media enquiries, please contact the REA media team on 027 237 7196 or email@example.com