New real estate law requiring agents to have a valid licence to be implemented in coming weeks

A new real estate law that will be making it mandatory for any real estate agents, brokers and consultants to have a valid licence in order to carry out their work is set to be put in place in the coming weeks, Parliamentary Secretary for Planning Chris Agius announced.

He was addressing a press conference on Thursday wherein he outlined this new law which will affect around 2,500 real estate agents.

“This act has the support of all those working in the sector meaning that everyone wanted to have a license which can be earned after following a specific course,” Agius said.

This course will provide real estate agents with a Level 4 qualification courses varying from 8 to 12 ECTS, depending on the work that they will be producing.

Among other things, the curriculum will address the legal and financial aspect of the sector which Agius believes are vital in regulating it, as workers will be advising people on the investments they make in property.

He explained that this law has been in the making for months and required countless consultations and discussions with all stakeholders on what will be the best measures to have within this draft.

This includes discussions with MCAST which will be supplying the curriculum that people will have to follow in order to get their license, as well as discussions with the FIAU so that Malta can meet its international obligations, he said.

The institutions that will supply this course are ones that are accredited by the National Commission for Further and Higher Education (NCFHE). “I am sure that in the coming years we will have a number of institutions that will start offering these courses,” Agius said.

Any person working in this sector must have a valid license no later than December 2021 which is ample time for people to get it.

The only exceptions are those people who do not make more than two transactions a year, such as village brokers who do not work within the sector on a full-time basis.

The licence will be valid for 5 years and once this period is over, the person has to make a claim in front of the board and provide any documents that are required for the licence to be extended. This includes the assessment of any required courses throughout the course of the 5 years.

Any person who fails to abide by what the board demands runs the risk of having their license revoked but they will have the ability to appeal in the courts if they wish. Additionally, there are measures in place to penalise persons working without a license with the penalties costing up to €20,000.

“This is a major step forward in the right direction, one that has been long-awaited by people working in the sector. We look forward to having a more regulated sector as this affects anyone who reaches the point of making one of the biggest investments of their lives,” he concluded.

The draft is expected to go through a third reading in parliament after minor amendments were requested during the previous reading. It will then be relayed to the President of Malta to be signed and the Planning Ministry will then announce that it has been implemented. This will happen in the coming weeks.