RENEWAL OF FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATES
All transactions regarding Fidelity Fund Certificates need to be done online via the MyEAAB portal on the top navigation menu bar of the EAAB website. There are more step by step guideline documents and infographics available for download at the bottom of this page.
COMPLIANCE, PENALTIES, AND THE ISSUING OF FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATES (FFC’S)
In order to assist estate agents in understanding the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB’s) application of fees and penalties, as well as various associated issues, the EAAB requests estate agents to take note of the following communication. The information contained herein will explain the relevant legislation which binds the EAAB as well as all estate agents, and the basis for the various financial, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and associated processes which affect an estate agent’s eligibility to obtain a Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC).
PENALTIES, FINES AND MISCONDUCT
The EAAB’s legal role is to ensure agents’ compliance with the provisions of the Estate Agents Affairs Act, 112/1976 (the Act), and its regulations. In order to do so, the EAAB must enforce such laws, and take all possible measures to ensure compliance. Accordingly, non-compliance carries fines / penalties imposed on a formal, equitable and universal basis, as laid down by Board resolution.
RENEWAL AND PENALTY FEES
The Regulation on Issue of Fidelity Fund and Registration Certificates, 2006, (published in terms of section 33 of the Act) requires agents to pay registration fees or renewal fees in order to register as an estate agent or renew their FFCs (S2 and S3).
All registered estate agents are required to renew their FFC every year, for the succeeding year, by paying the renewal fee, unless they have advised the board by no later than 31 October of that year, that they have ceased to operate as an estate agent (S4(1)).
This means that any estate agent who has not so advised the Board, in writing, in good time, will automatically be liable to pay the renewal fee for the following year. It also means that the failure to so renew will attract penalties as laid down by the Board.
Any estate agent who has a valid FFC is also required to inform the Board within 14 days, of any change in the information which was applicable when his / her FFC was issued, and to return such FFC to the board (S10). An employer is required to do the same in respect of any employees who cease to be employed by him / her (S12). Accordingly, the use of an FFC which contains incorrect or non-current information is a contravention of the provision.
Estate agents who fail to properly deregister themselves as operating agents, accordingly remain liable to comply with the provisions of the Act and regulations and failure to do so will accrue penalties until such time as the agent has properly complied.
IMPACT ON CPD COMPLIANCE
Since estate agents who are registered as such and fail to advise the board that they have ceased operating as contemplated above, remain liable for FFC renewal, they also remain liable for CPD compliance for the years in which the agent remains so registered. Estate agents, who advise the board prior to the commencement of their 3 year cycle, that they have ceased operating, are not liable for CPD compliance. Those who fail to do so will be blocked at the end of the 3 year cycle for which they were eligible if they do not comply with their CPD obligations during the period.
Estate agents, who are disqualified for CPD non-compliance, are encouraged to log a query via the online query management system using the section 27 CPD disqualification option, and an administrator will assist.
ISSUING OF FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATES (FFC’S
The EAAB Act requires the EAAB to issue no FFC to any agent until it is satisfied that the estate agent is not disqualified in any respect from obtaining an FFC (S16). A FFC for a succeeding year therefore is issued to an agent who is duly registered, has paid renewal fees on time, is not blocked for CPD or audit non-compliance, or as a result of disciplinary proceedings.
Where a disqualification is in place, no FFC may be issued to an estate agent under any circumstances, in terms of the applicable legislation.
Similarly, the non-payment of penalties for late renewal or other non-compliance will prevent a FFC being issued.
Estate agents who have not been issued with an FFC for a period of 3 years or more, are required by the regulation to re-register and pay a re-registration fee, and may not simply renew an FFC (s2(1)). Such re-registration is permitted where the estate agent pays the fees in question, submits the required registration documents, and is eligible for registration as an estate agent with the status desired, in terms of the education requirements of the applicable legislation.
Estate agents are requested to submit any queries via the Online Query Management System on the EAAB website www.eaab.org.za for assistance in establishing why FFC’s have not been issued.
Issued by: The Estate Agency Affairs Board