THE Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe (EACZ) has released a list of 70 estate agencies and 20 individuals that have been banned from operating after failing to secure necessary documentation.
The list was dated June 30, 2022.
EACZ said the estate agents were bogus because they were operating in the absence of the appropriate practicing certificate known as the Compensation Fund Certificate (CFC).
“Members of the public are advised to deal with the firms and individuals below are not registered EACZ accepts no responsibility for any of funds arising from dealing with the firms and individuals’ question,” EACZ said.
The named individuals include Abigail Marimbe, Abumastermind Nkala, Amon Kairezi, Babsy Ncube, Brendon Ncube, and Talent Ndyeye Mwembe.
The CFC is issued by the council on condition of clean trust account audits as well as firms having their employment PREAs.
The purpose of the CFC is to protect funds and compensate members of the public who may lose funds whilst dealing with illegitimate estate agents.
In addition to the practicing certificate, the realtor or real estate agency should have at least one employee that should be a principal registered estate agent (PREA).
“Estate agent firms are required to register with the Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe with the requirements being; having in possession of each current year practicing certificate (compensation fund certificate) and a firm having in its employment a Principal Registered Estate Agent (PREA),” EACZ said.
“One obtains a registered estate agent status by qualification and experience,” EACZ said.
The list of approved realtors and real estate agencies is listed on the EACZ’s website.
According to the website, for a real estate agency to be formed, a PREA must be in charge of the trust account at a commercial bank and must be the main signatory to the trust account, with a letter being required in that regard.
Other requirements include completed ‘EAC 3’ and annual return forms, the firm’s CR14 and its certificate of incorporation and indigenisation compliance certificate.
A letter from chartered accountants is also required stating that the agent has been explained to the system of bookkeeping and a $20 000 registration fee and compensation fund charge of $7 000 must be paid.
The rise of bogus realtors and real estate agencies comes amid a high national housing backlog of 1, 5 million that continues to grow daily.
This is because the rising cost of living has severely depreciated the local currency leaving many consumers with fewer prospects in becoming homeowners.
It is estimated that desperate land seekers have been fleeced of over US$25 million yearly.