How do you go about choosing a Property Managing Agent for your residential or commercial property in South Africa? This is a very important question to ask, and the answer is a little bit more involved than you might think.
“Choosing a Property Managing Agent is a very important consideration for Body Corporates and Trustees alike. To a certain extent, it is a subjective choice; you must get along with the people at the agency, after all. However, you also need to know that the company you trust to manage your property on your behalf is fully compliant and belongs to the correct regulatory bodies,” explains Pearl Scheltema, CEO, Fitzanne Estates.
In South Africa, this includes:
EAAB – The Estate Agency Affairs Board
This regulatory body plays a very important role in the industry. Their mandate is to ensure that:
The standard of conduct of estate agents is regulated, maintained, and promoted to have due regard for the public interest. The standard of training for estate agents is kept at a suitable level and applied consistently throughout the industry. Complaints against estate agents are investigated, and the required disciplinary proceedings are instituted against offending agents when required.
Additionally, the EAAB vision is to protect, regulate and transform the real estate industry from the inside out. Through education, awareness, building, and information sharing they ensure that their members are kept up to date with the latest best practices and always seek optimal outcomes for their clients.
Fidelity Fund Certification
The Fidelity Fund certificate, which has to be renewed annually, certifies that subject to the provision of Estate Agency Affairs Act (previously Estate Agents Act) 112 of 1976, the entity whose name appears on the certificate has complied with the provisions of section 16 of act 112 or 1976, and the regulations promulgated in terms of said section.
This certificate is awarded by the EAAB and stands as a sign of surety that the property management agency in question adheres to its rules and regulations.
TOP TIP: Always be sure to check that the management agency you are considering for your property or properties has the most recent version of this certification displayed on their website. If you don’t see it, ask them to provide you with a copy, and be sure to check the date.
Council for Debt Collectors Certification
Things don’t always go to plan when you rent or lease your properties. This is when it helps to be affiliated with a property management agency that has been certified as an official debt collector. These certifications are mandated and overseen by the Council of Debt Collectors.
The council was created by an Act of Parliament to oversee the fair recovery of debts and make provision for the regulation and control of fees charged by debt collectors. The Act also aims to monitor the conduct and professionalism of debt collectors and promote a culture of good governance throughout the profession to protect the rights of creditors, as well as the public at large.
Do your homework
“Choosing a Property Managing Agent for your scheme can often be a difficult task,” concludes Scheltema. “Not only do you want to find a Property Managing Agent that can promptly and effectively deal with any issues that may arise, but you also want their services to be as good and as affordable as possible. That’s why it’s essential for you to ensure they belong to the necessary Regulatory bodies outlined above.”