If you get defrauded by an unregistered estate agent, you can claim your losses from the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB). But not for long. Once the Property Practitioners Bill is enacted — which is likely to be before May — you will have to take the knock. This is according to Joseph Sakoneka, the registration manager at the EAAB. As the law stands, unregistered estate agents are not entitled to a commission, but this hasn’t stopped chancers from operating in the sector, presumably because consumers don’t check their credentials. According to the EAAB’s latest annual report, unregistered estate agents “continue to evade prosecution” and remain a challenge for the board. “The lack of co-operation from the police in arresting perpetrators, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in prosecuting offenders, and conveyancing attorneys who continue to pay commission over to unregistered estate agents … makes it impossible to root out illegal operators,” the report says. When the bill ...

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