Real Estate: the Law Reform Commission intends to legislate the sector

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How to give a new face to real estate in Mauritius? The Law Reform Commission will put in place several measures to legislate this sector. The report, released this month, is called Regulation of Activities of Real Estate Agents. The Law Reform Commission recommended a series of measures with the aim to protect customers, knowing that real estate is a booming industry.

A study was done previously before the publication of this report with the aim to compare the functioning of the real estate sector locally compared to what is done in many countries, such as Australia, France, England and Ireland, among others. The study showed that this sector is regulated by several laws. For example, the activities of estate agents are subject to the Property Services (Regulation) Act of 2011 in Ireland. In Mauritius, it’s time for action, since the estate agents are the ones who have revealed their difficulties, among which pseudo-agents working in this sector.

With the creation of a Real Estate Authority, everything will change. This is one of the recommendations of the Law Reforms Commission. The Real Estate Authority will receive public complaints against real estate agents. The Commission recommends to establish a record of real estate agents. The latter must register in accordance with the law and fulfil a series of conditions set by the law. A real estate agent must be in possession of an operating license and have 10 years’ experience. The license is renewable annually, if no offense has been committed. In case of misconduct, there will be disciplinary measures. The Commission is still considering this aspect. Concerning finance, the Commission explained that agents must reveal their interest in the sale and purchase of real estate. We are talking about agency fees.

The ministry will receive the Review Paper. Then, it will be presented to the cabinet and afterwards to the Prosecutor’s office. Real estate professionals are satisfied with the reform of the sector. Some of them said that it is also necessary to review the rates.