Out with the old in with the new: Property Practitioners Act
The new Property Practitioners Act (PPA) came into working on the 1st of February 2022.
The Estate Agency Affairs Act has been replaced with the PPA. The purpose of the act is described in the Act itself but for the public the two most important purposes are:
- The regulation of the estate agent who is now referred to as the property practitioner (PP);
- The protection which the Act provides for the consumer
In terms of the new Act the following details of the PP must now be disclosed on the Sole Mandate as well as the Offer to Purchase (OTP):
1. The PP Company or trade name;
2. The PP’s name;
3. Contact details of the Agency and the PP;
4. The particular PP’s Fidelity Fund certificate number and the date on which it was issued;
5. Furthermore, the PP now has to warrant in writing that he or she has a valid FFC.
Another change is the Mandatory Disclosure Form (MDF). The MDF provides more protection for consumers including the need to disclose defects in both sales and rentals.
Although it has been in practice for some time for the Seller to complete a defect list, it is now a legal requirement. The document must be signed by all parties and annexed to the OTP.
The MDF must be completed by the Seller and the Seller should not try to cover or conceal defects because this can have severe legal consequences for the Seller since they could be sued by the Purchaser.
However, should a Seller fail to disclose a defect that they were unaware of, they would obviously not have been able to declare it hence it is unlikely to pose a problem for the Seller and will the Seller be protected by the Voetstoots clause in the OTP.