The Real Estate Authority (REA) today launched its public consultation on draft guidelines setting out how the conduct regulator assesses whether an applicant for a real estate licence is a ‘fit and proper’ person, under section 36 of the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 (the Act).
REA Chief Executive/Registrar Belinda Moffat says that the draft guidelines are designed to provide greater transparency for both the industry and public on how this aspect of the licensing regime operates.
“To be eligible to hold a real estate licence, the Act requires that an individual be, among other things, a ‘fit and proper’ person. This is one of the fundamental principles underpinning the high standards of conduct required of licensed real estate professionals.”
“Carrying out a ‘fit and proper’ assessment has always been a part of REA’s licensing processes, and these guidelines will help to clarify the specific factors, concerns and considerations relevant to that evaluation,” Belinda says.
REA General Counsel Phirak Appleton says that the guidelines will provide an environment of increased certainty for real estate licence applicants, existing licensees and decision-makers.
“It’s important that individuals seeking a real estate licence have a good understanding of what aspects of their conduct and character may be considered by the Registrar when determining their eligibility. The Real Estate Agents Act does not define ‘fit and proper’, and so by creating a set of guidelines REA is seeking to assist both applicants and decision-makers.”
“By articulating the expectations REA has of people seeking to be granted or to renew a licence, we expect licensing decisions to be better understood and give applicants and the public greater confidence in the decisions made,” Phirak says.
Belinda says the four-week consultation period is an opportunity for the industry and the public to provide their views on the draft guidelines before they are finalised.
“We have engaged with sector leaders and received very strong support for the creation of these guidelines. We are now seeking input from the wider industry to ensure the guidelines are clear, understandable and practical. We also value views from consumers on how much the factors we propose to evaluate align with their view of a person ‘fit and proper’ to be a real estate professional. The guidelines are drawn from guidance issued by the Courts and Tribunals in decisions on licensing relating to people in the real estate and other professions.”
“People who deal with real estate professionals rely on the good character of the professional as they make significant financial decisions and commitments. For the public to have confidence that the profession is well-regulated, it’s important they understand and trust the regulatory framework REA uses to assess the character and past actions of those professionals.”
The consultation period will be open until 5 pm on 15 June 2022. Written feedback or submissions on the proposed guidelines can be made via the REA website. Hard copies of submissions can be sent to REA at PO Box 25 371, Customhouse Quay, Wellington 6140.
For media enquiries, please contact the REA media team on 027 237 7196 or firstname.lastname@example.org