Statement on the Stamping out of Illegal Estate Agents in Zambia by Mr. Bryan Mushota Tembo, President of the Zambia Institute of Estate Agents (ZIEA)
In pursuance of our new Mission Statement as an Institute, which is “To enhance professionalism in estate agency by stamping out illegal estate agents,” the Institute has commenced discussions with the Government of the Republic of Zambia as well as other key quasi-government institutions and stakeholders to identify ways in which the practice of estate agency in Zambia will be restricted to licensed estate agents. This will be done by making it impossible for the ownership of any property that has not been signed off by a licensed estate agent to be transferred.
Some of the key issues being proposed to the Government include:
- The requirement that a licensed estate agent must sign on the prerequisite documentation for any sale of property at the Ministry of Lands and in the process achieve the collection of information for KYC purposes required by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).
- That, in consultation with relevant stake holders, including the Law Association of Zambia, all contracts of sale for property must have an official stamp and signature of a licensed estate agent.
- Amend the ZIEA Act so that all adverts for properties sold by Banks and other financial institutions must be sold by independent licensed estate agents. It is our understanding and firm belief that the continued sale of such properties by banks and other financial institutions creates a potential conflict of interest and the remedy for that is the use of independent licensed estate agents.
- All lease agreements that are currently required to be registered must have the stamp of a licensed estate agent. We will be engaging Government on broadening this requirement so that more lease agreements are registered in line with the provisions of the law. This step is also very important in assisting the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in tax collection from leased properties.
- Engage ZRA to make it a requirement that a licensed estate agent must be used to process property transfer tax in the same way that all motor vehicle tax transactions require the use of a clearing agent. A licensed estate agent will therefore be required to sign off on all property transfer tax transactions.
- Engage with the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia, the Zambia Union of Journalists (ZUJ) and other media associations, to make it mandatory that anyone taking an advert for a property in a newspaper or any media, must show proof that they are either the owner of the property or are licensed estate agents sanctioned by ZIEA. This will bring an end to the problem of conmen advertising fake properties in the media and swindling innocent members of the public.
- Engage with ZICTA to ensure that those advertising property on social media are licensed estate agents’ failure to which, we believe the provisions of the new Cyber Crimes Act No. 2 of 2021 will be sufficient for any illegal agents using social media to be prosecuted.
- Engage with the Ministry of Local Government to ensure that any agents dealing in property on behalf of property owners at District and City Councils must be licensed estate agents duly registered with ZIEA as paid-up members.
Please note that any members of ZIEA that have not paid their subscription will also be treated as illegal estate agents until they have paid in full any outstanding arrears and the current subscription.