May 25, 2022 News
…realtors set-up steering committee to guide industry as legislation looms
By Rehanna Ramsay
Kaieteur News – An interim steering committee has been set up to guide the drafting of legislation geared toward regulating the standard practice for the real estate industry in Guyana.
On Monday, members of the committee were selected during a stakeholder meeting at the Tower Hotel, Main Street Georgetown. The meeting also served as a consultation exercise for dozens of local real estate agents and companies who gave their input on regulations and standards for operating in the industry.
The members of the interim steering committee included: Ramkumar Jewanram, Stefan John, Stanley Wills, Sharia Bacchus, Steven Persaud, Ryan Gomes, Rashawna Alleyne, Rosh Khan, Peter Abai, Pete Persaud, Nicola Duggan, Melissa Khan, Komal Ramnauth, Chief Samsair, Alfred Mentore, and Aleem Hussain.
Real Estate Broker Ramkumar Jewanram who chaired the meeting explained that the establishment of the committee gives realtors and real estate brokers a chance to build relations among themselves, consult and have an input in the rules which will help guide the sale of properties. “This was set up so that we can have a form of entry into the field not as it is now; where anybody can buy a licence for roughly GYD $40,000 and operate a real estate agency in Guyana. We are moving away from that so that everything can be done in a more uniformed manner,” he said.
“We see the need to regularise, we see the need for education and certification, we see the need for a body that members can be held accountable to that is a disciplinary committee, an ethic committee and a compliance committee…” Mr. Jewanram continued, adding that consultations towards drafting a real estate bill which will bring a legal structure to the real estate industry.
He emphasised that as long as the real estate sector is regulated, its members will be obligated to do their job with professionalism. “Right now there are a lot of irregularities happening and it is as I would call it the wild, wild, west where anyone could buy a licence, but in time we will all come together under one umbrella as a body,” he said.
Over 200 persons function in real estate in Guyana. On May 10, 2022, several members of the real estate industry met with the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall SC, to discuss legislation that will govern the real estate sector.
The Attorney General noted that the real estate sector is one of those that Guyana has an obligation to regulate by way of legislation under the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) law and therefore the request was seen as a timely one.
Upon the completion of the meeting with the Attorney General, a subsequent virtual meeting was held with the aim of reaching all other realtors to combine efforts in submitting a comprehensive proposal for the model real estate legislation.
During that meeting, a short-term interim steering committee was established to: 1) expedite the process of submitting the legislation and to, 2) form one unified association that is built on pillars of inclusivity and fairness for all.
While the proposed legislation is being prepared for submission to the Ministry of Legal Affairs, it is important to note, that key components of the proposed legislation will include: A code of conduct for real estate agents and brokers, the formalization of the current transaction process with enhancements, greater protections for buyers, sellers, agents, and brokers, and the creation of a state-run real estate authority which will oversee key issues such as real estate training and certification, and the process for implementing cures for real estate issues.
It is also proposed that an association be formed by a democratic process to elect the Executive Management Team based on its membership. The association will also offer different tiers of membership, as it aims to be inclusive to involve all players in the real estate industry.
The committee has invited submissions of the proposed legislation and explained that it will be reviewed and approved by the Government after consulting with the sector before it is taken to Parliament.
The interim steering committee hereby requests feedback and participation from all real estate agents and firms. This feedback will be compiled into the proposed legislation which will be submitted to the Ministry of Legal Affairs. All questions and contributions should be submitted via email to Real [email protected] by May 27, 2022.
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