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Get Qualified to Uphold Your Status & Avoid Disqualification

As per revised clarity notice on 30 June 2023 deadline on compliance with education regulations published by the PPRA.

Given the ongoing hurdles, we feel the pressure placed on you as a Practitioner, so let’s clear things up.

WHAT MAKES ME COMPLIANT?

If you hold Intern/Full Status, then to be compliant within the 24 month period, the following must be marked as competent:

  1. Internship Logbook
  2. NQF4
  3. PDE4

If you hold Principal Status, then to be compliant the following must be marked as competent:

  1. Internship Logbook
  2. NQF4
  3. PDE4
  4. NQF5
  5. PDE5 (within 24 months of holding Principal Status)

WHO IS THE COMPLIANCE DEADLINE FOR?

Candidate/Intern’s who have not complied within 24 months from their first FFC issue date.

Full status agents who have not been found competent in the NQF4 or PDE4.

Principal’s who have not been found competent in the NQF5 or PDE5.

Unless they have proof of exemption.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM NON-COMPLIANT?

If you were non-compliant on the 30th June 2023, then you will be disqualified and automatically blocked on the PPRA portal effective 03 July 2023. This means that you will not be issued with a further FFC when you wish to renew.

Your current FFC remains valid and you can continue to trade until it expires.

SO, HOW DO WE FIX THIS?

This is how you lift your disqualification block.

Submit your application within 60 days of disqualification, requesting an extension of 6 months within which you must become fully compliant. If you do this within 60 days there will be no penalty fee.

The application needs to be made by use of the affidavit which you can download here.

The affidavit must be accompanied with a letter signed by the applicant, together with supporting documents on how the applicant will ensure they will comply within the extended 6 month period.

The application must be submitted to [email protected]

When the PPRA receive the application, they will consider it, approve or reject it, and advise the applicant of the outcome within 30 days.

If the application is approved, the disqualification will be removed and a letter issued granting the extension of 6 months.

The applicant has this time period to become fully compliant.

If the application is declined, or if an application was never made, then the practitioner will remain blocked until they are compliant and have notified the PPRA of their compliance.

In such instance, and if the practitioners FFC has expired, the practitioner may apply to register as a candidate property practitioner for the respective sub-sector in terms of Regulation 33 of the PPA.

If the practitioner complied fully before their FFC expires, and within the 6 month period (from the date of disqualification letter) the block will be removed.

If you fail to apply within 60 days of being notified of your disqualification, and are still disqualified at your FFC expiry date, you will not be issued with a FFC at your current practicing status until you have fully complied and you will have to pay a penalty.

Practitioners who cannot comply with the extension process, or meet the education requirements, may, when their current FFC expires, apply for an FFC as a candidate practitioner and must then comply with the candidates education regulations.

Old and new terminology:

Intern Status – Candidate Property Practitioner

Full Status – Property Practitioner

Principal Status – Principal Property Practitioner

Online Convenience cc t/a PropAcademy ©

Disclaimer: PropAcademy has prepared these notes to the best of their knowledge and have taken advice from various experts.  PropAcademy are indemnified against any misrepresentation or error that may occur herein.

Exam Prep for PDE4 & PDE5

10 Tips on Writing Your PDE

These tips only apply to the PDE – Professional Designated Exam – Level 4 and 5 regulated by the PPRA.

Don’t study using everyone’s handed-down crash course material; this will have you spinning with unanswered questions and outdated material.

The PDE exams are held online and at a venue, depending on the PPRA’s requirements.  Here are some instructions for both:

At a Venue:

  1. Take your ID, FFC and proof of exam registration with you.
  2. When the PPRA refer to a “seat number”, please ignore this.
  3. You are not allowed any electronic devices in the exam room, including a cell phone.
  4. It is an open-book exam so please take your PropAcademy course material into the exam and know where to find your answers; that is key! Index your files (soft or hard copy) and be very familiar with where everything is.
  5. Make sure that you have a backup pen.
  6. Don’t talk to others during your exam.
  7. Ensure you don’t just get up and leave the room; you must ask for permission.

What to purchase and what not to purchase

  1. Purchase our crash course if you haven’t already! The course is live on your profile for 6-weeks but can be completed as quickly as you like. We have both PDE4 and PDE5. This includes our training material updated after every exam, live classes for you to join online, and quizzes to test your knowledge.
  2. You will be advised to purchase the “EAAB/PPRA NQF4/5 Study Guides”. Please feel free to borrow these from your fellow colleagues. If you have purchased our course, these guides can be seen as your back up and in our course, we advise you on which chapters to focus on.

Complete our PDE course quickly!

  • You can register for our course before registering with the PPRA for your exam – whenever it suits you.
  • You start your course as your payment reflects. No waiting is required!
  • Payment options are available to suit your needs. You will see these on the checkout page and below.
  • 98% of the learners using our material have passed the 1st time!
  • Our course is based on the PDE exam papers, giving you the tools to knock this exam out of the park.
  • Watch the recorded webinars in your course at any time that suits you.
  • There are live webinars closer to exam time, where you can join your fellow writers and chat with our facilitator about your concerns.
  • Support channels are ready and waiting for you.

Purchase today & start as soon as your funds reflect.

It’s that easy. Study our range of courses and grow your career with us to guide you. Payment options: EFT, Debit, or Credit card. Alternatively, take advantage of our PayJustNow facility; you choose this option at the checkout page, apply for an interest-free loan [we cover the fees], and if you qualify, you will pay over three months instalments and have access to your course after your first payment.

Studying online with ease…

We have designed our platform to suit your needs. You are out and about, busy in meetings, and need something you can do in your own time, from wherever it suits you, at any time of day or night. So, we have developed it for you. Accompanied with videos in your course, live webinars, online support and more.

The above advice is based on real-life experiences from our learners.

Online:

  1. When the PPRA refer to a “seat number”, please ignore this.
  2. Make sure your mic and webcam work. Don’t have a webcam? Buy one!
  3. Don’t talk to others during your exam; you must be alone in a quiet room.
  4. When you book your exam, you may see you need to choose an area to write. Please click on the area to complete your booking but note. You can do this exam from anywhere quiet as long as you are online. The area is just there until the PPRA remove it.
  5. Ensure you don’t just get up and leave the room; you must ask for permission.
  6. Your internet connection must be bulletproof; you cannot afford to be disconnected.
  7. You should receive a practice test just before your exam; please do this; it will also show you how to draw a graph and a few other tricks for the day.
  8. Don’t bounce around from question to question; sometimes, you can’t return. Instead, answer the question as you read it.
  9. Know where to find your answers; that is key! Index your files (soft or hard copy) and be very familiar with where everything is.

2022 Deadlines: Am I Compliant

Kindly take note of these deadlines with regards to the PPRA.

1. Education Regulations

All practitioners must comply within two years of their first FFC. Those that do not have amnesty until 30 June 2023. This means you must have completed your 12-month intern logbook, your NQF Level 4 Real Estate 59097, and your PDE Level 4 exam in time. Failing which you will be barred from operating as a Property Practitioner. https://theppra.org.za/article/extension_of_the_education_requirements_compliance_deadline_

2. FFC & Registration Certificate Renewals

Renewals need to take place by the 31st of October each year. Your renewal is paid for 3 years in advance. Principal renewals have to be applied and paid for first. Agencies do not have to pay for renewals but need to renew via the Principal’s PPRA portal. Following this, all other Property Practitioners can renew. Click here for further tips on renewals.

3. Trust Accounts

Designation of Trust Account name must be changed by 31 August 2022 to:

“As designated by Sec 54(1) and 54(2) of the Property Practitioners Act No 22 of 2019.”

The PPRA has engaged all banks, through the Banking Association of South Africa, on the referencing of all existing trust accounts to the new section 54(1) and 54(2) naming convention under the PPA and the PPRA has given banks up to 31 August 2022 to finalise this change in referencing. Accordingly, existing trust accounts opened prior to 1 February 2022 and still containing a reference to the old section 32(1) and/or 32(2) of the EAAA can be accepted by the principals and auditors of business property practitioners up to 31 August 2022. However, all new trust accounts opened after 1 February 2022 must contain a reference to section 54(1) and/or 54(2) of the PPA.

4. Trust Account Audits

Trust accounts must be audited within four months from year-end. The four months were extended to six months for the 2022 submissions, meaning that if your year-end was Feb 2022, you must submit by no later than 31 August 2022.

5. RMCP

This contract had to be reviewed by 15 July 2022.

6. BEEE Certificates

All agencies must upload BEEE certificates.

7. SARS Certificates

All agencies must upload SARS certificates.

8. CPD

CPD occurs in three year rolling cycles.  As an example, if you started your CPD in 2022, it would run for 2022, 2023 and 2024.

You must complete your:

  • annual CPD program as instructed by the PPRA, normally by June of that year;
  • verifiable and non-verifiable points before 31st December of each year;
  • payment for the following year must be made by the 31st March of that year.

The PPRA FFC Renewal Process Explained

We know that there are still some of you battling to renew your FFC, so we have decided to share some tips to help you out. Please note the contents of this article has been extracted from this PPRA Notice.

Important Tips

  • The cut-off date to renew your 2023 FFC is 31 Oct 2022
  • Your renewal is paid for 3 years in advance
  • There is no payment plan allowed for with regards to the renewals
  • Principal renewals have to be applied and paid for first
  • Agencies do not have to pay for renewals but still need to renew via the PPRA portal.
    The firm or business practitioner on longer pays any FFC fees as a result of the legislation which provides that only natural persons pay for FFCs.
  • Following this, all other Property Practitioners can renew
  • There is no provision in any legislation or policy which allows the practitioner to get a refund should they leave the industry during the renew period paid for

When you renew, remember

  • You must use your correct 7-digit ref number
  • You need to renew on your PPRA portal “Renew individual FFC”
  • You will then be issued an automated invoice giving you the correct amount payable
  • Pay your invoice and PDF the Proof of Payment
  • Download and complete your application form [PPRA Individual FFC Application Form]
  • Click here for a link to the PPRA, and scroll down for the application form
  • Upload these documents [POP & Application form] onto your PPRA portal, Log a query, FFC enquiry

To watch a Property Practitioner renewal

Now it’s time to pay for your renewal

  • For access to the PPRA Fees click here
  • Current Candidate [Intern] for less than 24 months = R1540
  • Current Candidate [Intern] for more than 24 months = R2340
  • Current Non-Principal [Property practitioner | Full Status] = R2340
  • Current Principal =  R2340

If you don’t renew in time you will be penalised R125 per month.

The Path to Certification: REIS Panel Discussion 2022

The Property Practitioners Act No22 of 2019 is the law from 1st February 2022.   Whenever there is a change in legislation, clarification is needed.

Listen to this 40-minute discussion to understand how agents must comply during the change from the old to the new Acts and how the new Act affects developers, Homeowner Associations and Property Practitioners.

REIS PPA Roundtable

The experts include Janet Alexander, CEO PropAcademy / Mfundo Daki, HOD Education Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority PPRA / and Sean Theunnissen, CEO Property Point.

EAAB: Agents need to comply with education regulations or be disqualified

MAIN IMAGE: Courtney McKenna, operations manager of PropAcademy; Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa

A policy approved by the EAAB applicable to interns, non-principal or principal estate agents, has granted an extension of a time frame within which they can ensure compliance with the board’s education regulations.

The EAAB’s practise notice (ETD01/2020) states that these regulations do not apply to persons who want to enter the estate agency sector for the first time or to persons who have never previously applied for, or been issued with, a valid Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC) by the EAAB. By law estate agents are required to have a valid FFC issued by the EAAB for them to practice.

The notice is applicable to estate agents holding full status FFC’s despite having failed to comply with the requirements of the standard of training of estate agents.

“The  extension is welcome and a deadline  for interns very necessary. It will, however, be impossible for the EAAB to cope with the  increased volumes as it is not coping at present “, says Jan le Roux, CE of Rebosa.

Interns

In the case of interns, the notice is applicable to persons who have continuously been registered as intern estate agents for a period exceeding twenty-four months. They are granted time until 30 June 2022 to submit a completed intern logbook to the EAAB, duly signed off by both the intern agent and the principal or qualifying mentor estate agent. This will serve to assess if the intern was initially issued with an intern FFC during 2013. Alternatively, the intern can submit a letter from a principal of the estate agency where the intern estate agent served the internship to confirm the successful completion of the twelve-month internship period.

The intern should also be certificated against the NQF Level 4 real estate qualification and have passed the PDE 4. Interns who fail to comply with these regulations by 30 June 2022 will be ipso facto rendered disqualified in terms of the Act.

In the case of intern estate agents who have not passed the PDE within two years after having been certified against the NQF Level 4 real estate qualification, are granted until 30 June 2022 to enrol for and pass the PDE 4. Failure to pass will lead to disqualification.

Estate agents

Registered full status non-principal estate agents who have not been certified against the NQF level 4 real estate qualification or who have not passed the PDE45 but who hold a valid FFC, also have until 30 June 2022 to be certificated against the NQF Level 4 real estate qualification and to pass the PDE. If they fail to do so by 30 June 2022, they will be ipso facto rendered disqualified.

Principals

The same regulation applies to registered full status principal estate agents holding a valid FFC but who have not been verified against NQF level 5 real estate qualification or who have not yet passed PDE 5 while failure to comply will also lead to ipso facto disqualified.

Consequences

The consequences of being rendered disqualified in terms of the act, will lead to the person being blocked and unable to renew their FFCs for 2022 or any ensuing calendar years and pay an administrative penalty of R1000.00. The penalty must be paid before any further FFCs will be issued to them.

Agents in these situations can apply to the EAAB under the proviso to section 27 of the Act, for the issue of an FFC for the 2022 calendar year if they can convince the board that it will be in the interest of justice to issue the FFC. This application must be lodged with the EAAB within a period of sixty days after the person concerned is notified of the disqualification. Failure will render the person disqualified.

A disqualified estate agent will remain blocked until:

  • The EAAB has received a substantive application from the applicant in the form of an affidavit, together with all supporting documents necessary or required to enable the application to be duly considered, in which the applicant provides sound and valid reasons as to why the issue of a FFC will be in the interest of justice and
  • the application has been duly considered and approved.

On approval, the estate agent may be unblocked and granted a maximum further six months, calculated from the date of the unblocking of the application, within which to comply with any outstanding educational requirements in terms of the education regulations. No further extensions of time will be granted to the applicant estate agent.

Failure by an applicant to comply with any outstanding educational requirements in terms of these education regulations within the set period, will render that estate agent ipso facto deregistered as an estate agent.

Estate agents who have been deregistered by the EAAB, may reregister, but only in the capacity of an intern estate agent. They will be required to comply with all the requirements pertaining to an intern estate agent. This Practice Note came into effect on 1 July 2021.

Courtney McKenna, operations manager of PropAcademy, an accredited provider of regulated estate agents’ qualifications, education and an RPL assessment centre, welcomes this Practice Notice with open arms and says it is way overdue and will professionalise the industry.

“The EAAB legislated education some 13 years ago but they never fully implemented their checking policies to police this process, resulting in property practitioners trading as full status or principal status agent as reflected on their fidelity fund certificate, where in fact they have not complied with education requirements and intern agents remaining at that status for years past the cut-off date.

“Part of the reason that property practitioners have not complied with education can be put down to their complacency with the Board. The Board’s administrative systems have been unable to issue FFCs timeously, unable to produce regulated CPD courses timeously and the question is asked: “how will they be able to monitor my education status?”

McKenna says all property practitioners must be compliant by end of June 2022 which is going to be a hard task for some. However, there is relief in recognition of prior learning (RPL), where agents will be able to fast-track their learning, terms and conditions apply.

Written by
Danie Keet (Property Professional)

Differences Between the Old and the New Property Practitioners Act Summarised

The New Property Practitioners Act for Estate Agents

The new Property Practitioners Act No. 22 of 2019 replaces The Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976.

All property practitioners must read both The Property Practitioners Act No. 22 of 2019 and, in particular, Regulations 33 and 34. This summary refers to certain clauses in Regulation 33. Clauses that have not changed from the previous Act are not referred to. The clauses referred to must be read in context with the summarised explanation.

New terminology:

Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976Property Practitioners Act No. 22 of 2019
Intern Estate AgentCandidate Property Practitioner
Full Status AgentProperty Practitioner
Principal Estate AgentPrincipal Property Practitioner
Estate Agency Affairs BoardThe Board of Authority (which embodies the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority)
EAABPPRA

The Act has repealed the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976 (EAA Act). It did so to achieve three primary objectives:

  • to address the slow transformation in the property sector
  • to integrate and consolidate all role-players within the property sector under one umbrella statute and
  • to address the deficiencies of largely ineffective monitoring of estate agency matters and protecting consumers and their trust funds.

The Authority has far-reaching enforcement powers, and among other things, it is required to:

  • ensure compliance with the Act
  • to regulate the conduct of property practitioners
  • to implement measures to transform the property sector
  • and to conduct campaigns to educate property practitioners and consumers.
It must be noted that the PPRA will phase in the various changes communicated to all property practitioners. Clause 33.2.9.2 refers to:

The Authority may, in good faith, conduct consultation with industry representative bodies to establish transitional provisions for the phasing in some or all of the provisions of this regulation 33.We refer to the PPAct in relation to all the questions regarding the educational (and other aspects) that have been published previously in regulations under the ‘old’ Act:

S75(6) states very clearly and in no uncertain terms:

“All regulations made in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act remain in full force and effect as if they had been made in terms of or under this Act.”

Chapter 1: Definitions, Applications and Exemptions

Clause 2: Trust Accounts
A practitioner may apply for exemption from holding a Trust Account if they have never received or no longer receive trust monies.

Chapter 2: Transformation and Regularisation

Clause 3:

  • A Property Sector Transformation Fund will be formed. Please read Schedule 3, Cl 43, which states that the Fidelity Fund will supply the funding for this fund; conditions apply.
  • 75% of the bursaries will be distributed to this fund. The Authority will develop the distribution guidelines.
  • Regularisation: Note Cl. 3.4.2, which provides that a person who failed to register as an “estate agent” under the previous Act or failed to obtain a Fidelity Fund certificate under the previous Act when they were required to do so shall not be subject to prosecution or any disciplinary action in respect of such failure by the Authority provided that such person registers with the Authority within no more than six months of the effective date and subsequently obtains a Fidelity Fund certificate under the provisions of the Act and these regulations within no more than 12 months following the date upon which such person registers with the Authority.
  • Clause 41.42 deals with this in more detail.
  • 5% of grants will be spent on Consumer Education.

Chapter 3: Compliance, Enforcement and Dispute Resolution

Procedures are explained.

Chapter 4: Fees and the Fidelity Fund

Fee claims are explained with a maximum pay-out set at R2m. Please take the latest fee schedule from the PPRA website, as they may alter them as required.

Clause 15:

  • Every property practitioner who is a natural person shall, upon first becoming registered as a property practitioner, pay the Property Practitioners Fidelity Fund (“the Fidelity Fund”) a contribution of R
  • Every property practitioner who is a natural person shall, as of the calendar year 2020, pay the Authority a levy of R 2 340 set for three years or, if permitted by the Authority, pay R780 per
  • As defined in the Act, a candidate property practitioner shall pay R380 each year of their candidacy The candidacy period has exceeded two years. The candidate property practitioner shall pay the same levy applicable to every property practitioner mentioned in 15.1.1 or 15.1.2.

Chapter 5: Fidelity Fund Certificates

Procedures, penalties and deadlines are explained:

  • Renewals to be affected by no later than 31 October of that year, the practitioner must apply to the Authority for the issue of a fidelity fund

Clause 25.2: “Subject to any express provision to the contrary in the Act or these regulations, no person  who does not directly carry out to any material degree any activity or function of a “property practitioner” as defined in section 1 of the Act is required to register with the Authority or hold a Fidelity Fund certificate, even though such person may be employed       by or in any way be engaged with any property practitioner.”

An easy example could be an administrator or an accountant in a property management team or providing support services within a brokerage. Also, a technical manager in a property management team. Such roles are essential to the success of the property management or brokerage business. Still, those individuals do not, to a material degree, perform the functions contemplated in the definition of a property practitioner.

Conversely, the property manager who is responsible for all the roles/functions within the property management team materially performs the role defined in the definition of a property practitioner and will definitely require an FFC.

Similarly, the agents/brokers who negotiate and facilitate transactions will require an FFC, but their support admin staff will not.

Clause 26 states that FFCs will display the category of real estate in which you are competent. The Authority will determine the different categories. FFCs will be industry specific.

Clause 22: FORMAT OF FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATE

Pursuant to section 47 (3) of the Act, it is prescribed that the form of a Fidelity Fund certificate will be as follows –

FIDELITY FUND CERTIFICATE

issued under the provisions of the Property Practitioners Act 22 of 2019

[Insert logo of the authority]

Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority Valid from date of issue to 31 December of the

undermentioned year

Holder:                                                                                   [insert the year at the end of which the fidelity fund certificate will expire]

[Insert the full name of the holder of the fidelity fund certificate]

 

[Insert the geographical address of the holder ofDate of issue:

the fidelity fund certificate]                                                [insert the date of issue]

 

Certificate number:

(Insert the number of the certificate)                              ______________________________

                                                                  The Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority

Industry:

(Insert e.g. “estate agency industry”, “business broking industry”, “bond broking industry” or similar)

Chapter 6: Trust Account

Requirements, declaration of interest, and winding up are discussed.

Chapter 7: Training, conduct and consumer protection measures.

Clause 33.2: PDE – The Authority is mandated to establish an exam after consulting with representative bodies.

Clause 33.2.3 – No person can write this PDE exam unless they have completed the set practical training course, which will contain a minimum of 6 modules over a minimum of 6 months (NQF).

Read this with the provisions of Cl. 33.1.2, 33.1.33 and Cl.41 (exemptions).

Clause 33.2.8: If you leave the industry for more than five years, you must take the required qualification on your return.

Clause 33.2.9.2: The Authority may, in good faith, conduct consultation with industry representative bodies to establish transitional provisions for the phasing in of some or all of the provisions of this regulation 33.

Clause 33.3: Further restrictions – Once qualified, a principal must oversee your documents for a further six months.

Clause 33.4: Candidate Estate Agent – On registration, you are a candidate estate agent and must act under the supervision of a fully qualified agent or principal. Candidate practitioners have 180 days (6 months) to become fully qualified.

Clause 33.5: CPD – 12 modules over a three-year rolling cycle, completing four per annum.

Clause 34: Code of Conduct – The Authority will implement a new code. We note here what we believe to be changed to the existing Code of Conduct.

Clause 34.2.1.3: A practitioner may not accept a mandate if the performance of the mandate requires specialised skill or knowledge for which they are not qualified.

Clause 35.1: Franchisee must adhere to the franchisor’ contractual requirements.

Clause 35.1.1.2: Property developers, including their Homeowners Associations or body Corporates, may not restrict access to certain property practitioners.

Clause 36:

Mandatory Disclosure – Defects must be fully disclosed to the purchaser by the agent on the owner’s behalf.

Provision of additional information – the owner, must complete the disclosure form, and should he respond with a “yes”, he must explain the status of that defect.

A document, “Statements in connection with Property,” is supplied, which must be adapted and attached to the contract. Other documents include a form that the owner signs certifying that the information supplied is correct and that the third person supplying the information completes, certifying that they are duly authorised. Finally, a buyer’s acknowledgement must be completed and signed.

Clause37:

Wording on letterheads agreements, letterheads and marketing documents must include “Registered with the PPRA”. A candidate is using or referring to the document; it must be stated that they are a candidate.

All contracts must contain the wording: “I, (name of agent), hereby warrant the validity of my FFC as at the date of signature on this agreement”.

Chapter 8: Administrative and other matters

Clause 38: The distinction between major and minor contraventions is detailed.

Clause 39.1.1: Identifies a Property Practitioner by the following services:

  • the sale, by auction or otherwise, by any person as part of the activities of operating a property development business, of any property or any interest, right or title in or to a property or a property development, provided that the foregoing shall not apply in circumstances where such sale, auction or other activity is conducted solely through the auspices of a property practitioner falling within subsection (a) (i) of the definition of “property practitioner” who is the holder of a current fidelity fund certificate issued under the provisions of the Act; and
  • An activity falling within subparagraphs (i), (ii), (iii) of paragraph (a) of the definition of “property practitioner” in the Act insofar as it pertains to business undertakings shall include any activity that relates to small, micro and medium enterprises, franchised businesses or new start-up ventures or newly created franchise concepts, whether such enterprise is sold as a whole as a going concern or as part of a business or through transferring the beneficial ownership in such

Any person facilitating or providing a service in the sale or lease of property in any way and does not use the services of a property practitioner must hold an FFC. Business undertakings shall include any activity, whether sold as a whole or going concern, or as part of a business, or by means of transferring the beneficial ownership.

Additional  Property Practitioner information supplied by PropAcademy:

“A property practitioner is any person who, for the acquisition of gain, directly or indirectly, on the instructions or on behalf of another:

  • sells, purchases, manages or publicly exhibits for sale any property or business undertaking;
  • leases or hires or publicly exhibits for hire any property or business undertaking;
  • collects or receives money payable for a lease;
  • provides, procures, facilitates, secures or otherwise obtains or markets financing for or in connection with the management, sale or lease of a property or business undertaking; and
  • renders services as an intermediary to affect the conclusion of an agreement to sell or let a property or business undertaking (except where this is not done in the ordinary course of the person’s business; where a natural person does it in their capacity, or where the person is an attorney, candidate attorney or sheriff).

Thus, the definition extends well beyond estate agents. It includes

  • auctioneers
  • property developers,
  • property managers,
  • franchisees,
  • providers of bridging finance and bond brokers (aside from financial institutions)

Anyone who falls within the ambit of the definition of a “property practitioner” is required under the Act to register as a property practitioner and obtain a certificate issued by the Fidelity Fund on an annual basis. Refer to Section 47(1) of the Act. Conveyancers are prohibited from paying any money to a property practitioner without receiving a copy of that property practitioner’s valid Fidelity Fund certificate.

Note: The PPA will not apply to the following persons who do not do any of the above-listed activities in the ordinary course of their business;

Persons who sell their property;

An attorney, candidate attorney, or sheriff.”

Who is a Property Practitioner

Taking the above into account, the following persons DO NOT need to register with the PPRA or hold a FFC:

  1. The Sheriff of the Court
  2. An Attorney or a Candidate Attorney can perform estate agent activities without registering with the Authority if he operates in the name of his law firm, from the premises of his law firm only and in the course of his law business. As soon as he operates a separate estate agency, advertises under another name, has employees who advertise under another name, and operates from a different address, he must register as an estate agent and comply with all aspects of the Act.  His employees are also liable for compliance with the education requirements of the Act.  An example of an exclusion would be if the attorney sells a property from an Estate he is winding up.
  3. A natural person selling his residence as long as it is his primary home.

The following persons MUST register with the PPRA and hold a valid current FFC:

  1. Sales & Rental Agents. The only change envisioned in the new Act will be that mandatory disclosure forms must be included in the sale and rental agreements.  If not, the agreement will be interpreted as no defects or deficiencies were disclosed.
  2. Again, the only change will include the mandatory disclosure forms for Auctioneers, like for Sales and Rental Agents.
  3. Business Brokers must comply with the Property Practitioners Act. This refers to the marketing, promotion, managing, sale, letting, financing and purchase of immovable property, and any rights, obligations, interests, duties or powers associated with or relevant to such property.
  4. Managing Agents are anyone who “collects or receives any monies payable on account of a lease of a property or a business undertaking; (and who) provides, procures, facilitates, secures or otherwise obtains or markets financing for or in connection with the management (of a property)”. Managing agents must comply with all the provisions of the new Act.
  5. Bridging Financiers must comply with the Act and its provisions.
  6. Bond Originators must comply with the Act unless they fall under the Financial Sector Regulation
  7. Timeshare and Fractional Any type of sale of property or property shares must comply with the Act.
  8. All Property Developers must comply with the Act.
  9. The new Act also includes those Trusts that do the work of a Property Practitioner – that is, market, buy, sell, let or auction a property.

Clause 40:

Document Retentions – Section 55 (1) (f) of the Act states all electronic communications sent and received by the property practitioner to a public member during business must be stored. If the communication is on social media and accessible to the public, it doesn’t have to be stored. (5 years)

Schedule 1 –

Lists administrative matters relating to exemptions

Manner and Form of Application:

Clause 41.1 Discusses how to distribute the exemption application to the PPRA.

Clause 41.2: Process of Exemptions –  All applications must be loaded to the PPRA web portal or sent to the PPRA email address or post or delivery. The PPRA has 60 days to respond unless the PPRA has good grounds to extend this time, and if so, they must advise the applicant. The period of 60 days may be extended for a maximum of 20 more days. If information is missing from the application, the 60 day period starts afresh. Should the PPRA fail to comply, the application is deemed approved. An application for exemption may be applied for by an individual or by an entity.

Clause 41.8:

Administration of exemption applications – Exemptions do not only apply to education, but to any aspect related to property, i.e. payment of FFC or non-executive directors may apply for exclusion from holding an FFC

Schedule 2

Administrative matters relating to registrations and Fidelity Fund Certificates

Clause 41:   A single FFC will be issued in respect of all capacities in which a property practitioner acts. FFCs will not state the status of the property practitioner. As a precondition to issuing an FFC, the Authority cannot require a practitioner to bring into compliance any matter pertaining to any period preceding the date upon which an FFC was previously issued unless a complaint is lodged.

Once FFC is approved, the PPRA must upload it to the agents portal within ten days. Conveyancers must hold the FFC of the agency and the agent before distributing funds. An FFC downloaded from the portal will constitute an original. Finally, The PPRA must give the practitioner 30 days notice before withdrawing an FFC and allow the practitioner to apply for an exemption.

According to the Act, you must renew your FFC every three years:

Clause 40:  (1) Every property practitioner, excluding a property practitioner referred to in paragraph (g) of the definition of “property practitioner” in section 1, must, within the prescribed period and in the prescribed manner, every three years apply to the Authority     for a Fidelity Fund certificate, and such application must be accompanied by the fees contemplated in section 34.

Schedule 3 – Grants from the FF

Clause 41.29 Fund must always hold a minimum of R400m. Excess funds shall be used for Transformation Fund.

Schedule 4 – General administrative matters

Clause 41.32 the Authority must upload email addresses or any delivery address for exemption applications on its website. Where a property practitioner acts for a business, then that business information must be reflected on all correspondence and marketing material of that property practitioner. The documents above must also state:

  • that the entity holds an FFC
  • whether or not the entity holds a trust account
  • the property practitioner name and confirmation that he holds a valid FFC

The Authority must give the practitioner 30 days to supply any information that the authority requests. Any person claiming theft, fraud etc., against an agent does not have to take steps against the practitioner. A recognised financial reporting framework must prepare financial accounting, and The SA Institute of Chartered Accountants must determine the type of audit required.

Schedule 5 – Transition

Clause 41.41:  An applicant shall not be precluded from registered in consequence of that person being in any way non-compliant with any of the provisions of the Act unless:

Subject to criminal prosecution

Previous FFC withdrawn as a result of failure to comply with regulations

A Property practitioner who has previously failed to register may do so now with no penalties as long as he does so within six months of the Act and receives the FFC within 12 months from the date of his registration.

The Authority will liaise with representative bodies to bring non-compliant practitioners to compliance. All existing FFC’s and qualifications achieved during the 12 months pre the effective date must be upheld.

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Disclaimer: PropAcademy has prepared these notes to the best of their knowledge and have taken advice from various experts. PropAcademy are indemnified against any misrepresentation or error that may occur herein.

How to Qualify as a Property Practitioner or Principal Property Practitioner

Qualification Process for Real Estate Agents

It can be quite a daunting process to understand all of the real estate education regulations in South Africa and the set qualifying process.  However, we will do our best to explain this simply so that you understand these steps and why they have been implemented with ease.

Before 2008 property practitioners (formerly known as Real Estate Agents) were required to write an exam set by the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB), and that was it. The EAAB was formed to regulate the conduct of property practitioners.  The EAAB was established in 1976 in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976, with the mandate to regulate and control certain activities of property practitioners in the public interest.

On the 1st of February 2022, the EAAB was replaced with the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority (The Authority/PPRA). The Authority is governed according to the Property Practitioners Act No. 22 of 2019, which has replaced the Estate Agency Affairs Act 112 of 1976. The differences between the EAAB and The Authority are laid out in a blog post here.

The Authority regulates the real estate profession by ensuring that all persons carrying out the activities of a property practitioner as a service to the public are registered. A Fidelity Fund Certificate, which is to be renewed each year, is issued as evidence of such registration and confirmation that such a person is legally entitled to carry out the activities of a property practitioner.

South African Qualifying Association (SAQA) is the body that issues qualifying certificates, from school certificates to Doctorates.  ServiceSETA (SSETA) falls under SAQA and controls the NQF4 and NQF5 real estate qualifications.

Here is a high-level overview of each step. Should you want additional or detailed information about any aspect of the process, simply click on the links.

The Qualifying Process – Step-by-Step

Step 1: Preparing for the Journey

Before you can study to become a property practitioner, you must:

  • Get a job as a candidate property practitioner with a registered Estate Agency
  • Register as a candidate property practitioner with The Authority
  • Receive your Fidelity Fund Certificate (FFC).

Step 2: First Steps – Intern logbook

Step 3: NQF4

To become a property practitioner, you must be competent in the outcomes-based NQF Level 4 Real Estate requirements set out by the SSETA and be competent in your PDE4 exam.

  • Check whether you qualify for an NQF4 exemption. Click here to check your qualification against the PPRA Matrix. If you think you qualify for an exemption, apply for this (this can take two months).
  • If you are not exempt, you will need to complete one of the following:

Suppose you are doing the NQF4 or the NQF4 RPL course and cannot provide proof that you have passed Mathematics and a 2nd South African language at a Matric level. In that case, you will need to purchase the relevant bridging courses through PropAcademy. The NQF Level 4 Functional Mathematics Course and the NQF Level 4 Literacy Course.

Step 4: Professional Designated Exam Level 4 (PDE4)

To become a property practitioner, you must write and pass The Authority’s PDE4 exam.

This is a 4-hour open-book exam written through The Authority. Check the next exam date by clicking here. Bookings for this exam open six weeks prior.

  • As soon as you receive your NQF4 competency certificate from SSETA, book for your PDE4 exam with The Authority
  • Brush up on the knowledge required to pass the exam; this course has maintained its 100% pass rate.
  • Write and pass this exam.
  • Go out and celebrate – you are now a property practitioner!

Step 5: CPD Points

To maintain your status, you will need to earn CPD points. Click here for details about the CPD process and complete your non-verifiable CPD points online by registering here.

Step 6: Achieve Principal Property Practitioner Status – NQF5

To become a Principal Property Practitioner, you must be competent in an NQF Level 5 in Real Estate. You do not have to have written your PDE4 exam to begin your NQF5 studies; however, this exam must be completed to become a property practitioner. To start your NQF5 studies, you must have completed your NQF4.

  • Check whether you qualify for an exemption from NQF5. Click here to check your qualification against the PPRA Matrix. If you think you qualify for an exemption, apply for this (this can take two months).
  • If you are not exempt, you will need to complete one of the following:
  • Another celebration is called for – you are now a Principal Property Practitioner! Just one more step to go to maintain your status…

Step 7: Professional Designated Exam Level 5 (PDE5)

Your journey is coming to an end. Armed with your NQF5, you have two years to write and pass your PDE5 to maintain your Principal Property Practitioner Status. Bookings for this exam open 6 weeks prior.

  • Check the next exam date by clicking here and book your seat through The Authority.
  • Brush up on your real estate knowledge to sit for the four-hour PDE5 exam. Our 100% pass rate is still intact.
  • Write and pass your PDE5 exam
  • Your journey is complete

The Authority & ServicesSETA Qualification Process Infographic

To make it a little easier for you to keep track of the qualification process, we’ve put together this handy infographic which you are welcome to download, print and share.

Real Estate Qualifications Flow Chart

Click the image above to download and save it to your computer or print it out so you can refer to it at any time.

The Qualifications Flow Chart | Who is PropAcademy? | How to Register for a Course

Hint: Read our blog – it contains interesting hints and tips. Download our eBook “The Authority & ServicesSETA (SSETA) Qualification Guide” for more detailed information.

We hope this makes The Authority & ServiceSETA qualification process for property practitioners a little easier to follow, but if you have any questions, please post them in the comments below or contact us. We’ll gladly assist you in becoming a qualified estate agent. And if you found this guide helpful, please like and share it with your friends and colleagues.

How to Prepare for your Online Real Estate Course

If you have been out of school for a while / practicing real estate for years, or if you’re new to online learning, you might not know what to expect in your eLearning real estate course.  Some courses are purely online where others are known as Blended Learning, a mix of online and face to face classes.

How to Prepare for Online Real Estate Courses

There are some tips and tricks that can help you stay organised and focused while taking your online real estate classes. We’ve put together a list of some of our favourites.

Create your own workspace for online real estate classes

If you’re doing your online real estate classes from home, make sure you set aside a dedicated working area. Even if you have a small apartment, you can still create an area to do your work. This will not only help you stay focused but using a genuine home office could possibly qualify you for the home office deduction come tax time.

Having a separate working area could also help you to balance your online real estate classes with your other time commitments.

If you have set up your workspace in the office to study and take part in eLearning classes, then make sure that this area is quiet, away from interruptions.  Ensure that staff know to keep away from your area whilst your online course is taking place.  A set of head phones is always best when interacting online. You must be comfortable so make sure you have nourishment close at hand as well as a pen and pad to make notes.

A good idea is to always check your network connections and keep that Wi-Fi line clear whilst the webinar is in progress.  Go even further and de-activate other sources that share the Wi-Fi connection such as Skype, Facebook and definitely stop downloads. If in the office, ask other staff members that share the Wi-Fi in the office environment to close their downloads for the period of the webinar.  Have a backup plan in case your internet goes down.  You don’t want to run into a scenario where you have a test or assignment due and can’t complete it because of your internet access.

A brilliant plan is to ensure that you have downloaded and saved your Portfolio Guide that relates to the webinar course and minimise it to 50% of your screen, so that you can easily make notes under each question during the webinar.  You may also want to have your Learner Guide on hand so that you can flip to the pages that the facilitator is discussing and mark where to read up on the answers at a later stage.

A timer is a great tool to have as it keeps you focussed on the task at hand.  And remember when the webinar breaks to go into a further task, use that time to stretch your limbs and get the blood flowing again! Regular exercise improves memory and thinking skills. A good idea is having a stress ball on your desk to keep your blood pumping while you listen.

There are online backup tools that must be used when completing your course such as iCloud, Google Documents and Dropbox. If your work is saved on Google Documents or Dropbox it’s a lot easier to run back to the office or a nearby cafe to finish your assignment. Despite all your best efforts, sometimes technology stops working for inexplicable reasons.

Ergonomics in your work space

When setting your work station up, whether it will be a standing or sitting station, you want to be as comfortable as possible, but still in a position that will keep you from dosing off. Long use of a computer, especially with the wrong posture can lead to muscle aches and fatigue. The below tips will help you avoid this:

  • Avoid unnecessary reaching. Your keyboard, mouse, note pad, files and head phones should be within easy reach;
  • Position your laptop screen in the centre of your view, directly in front of you. The top of the screen should be slightly below the top of your head, so that you are looking at it with a slightly downward gaze;
  • Position your laptop screen to eliminate any reflections coming from windows and lighting;
  • Utilise a chair with back support;
  • Keep your feet supported on the floor or on a footrest when you work to reduce pressure on your lower back. If you don’t have a footrest use a box or an old file;
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed with your elbows close to your sides;
  • Your wrists should be in a neutral or straight position when typing;
  • Keep your fingers and knuckles relaxed when working at the keyboard;
  • Avoid holding your mouse tightly. Your hand should be relaxed; and
  • Rest your eyes by refocusing on distant objects intermittently when working.

Enjoy your new eLearning!

Congratulate yourself on taking the steps to learn something new and don’t forget to enjoy this time of your life. You’re embarking on a journey that will take you to new places and that’s something to be excited about.

If you have any questions on how to prepare for your online courses or you have any other tricks that work well for you, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

How to Own Your Own Real Estate Agency in South Africa

So you’re a high-achieving real estate agent. You work hard for your commission and you’re tired of paying over a large amount of your earnings to the estate agency firm you work for every time you make a sale.

How to Own Your Own Real Estate Agency in South Africa

You want to be your own boss, own your own estate agency firm, and retain your commission for yourself. And possibly, one day, you may even have estate agents working for you and paying over some of their commission to you!

That’s a great ambition to have. Real estate is an exciting profession, but even more so when you are in control of your own agency.

But before you rush off to sign a lease on your new premises, there are a few steps you have to take. The first, and most important of these, is to become a Principal Estate Agent.

The Estate Agents Affairs Board (EAAB) requires that the owner of every estate agency must be a qualified Principal Estate Agency – or Principal Property Practitioner. This means that you must have had some experience in running an estate agency firm and you will have qualified in terms of regulations set by the EAAB and by Services SETA (SSETA).

Let’s start at the beginning and track the route every prospective real estate agent must take en route to owning his or her own estate agency firm.

The first step – for every new entrant to the profession regardless of their background or previous qualifications – is to join an estate agency firm, obtain a fidelity fund certificate (FFC), and complete a 12-month internship. During this 12-month period, the intern estate agent collects information and completes a portfolio of evidence (PoE) which must be lodged with the EAAB.  You can enrol in our online Intern PoE logbook course directly on our website right away.

If you have already been in the industry for a few years, you will also have to produce a PoE for the Board, clearly showing evidence of at least a year in the field before you can become a full status estate agent.

The EAAB requires all intern agents complete their studies to become full status estate agents within two years from the time they are issued with their Fidelity Fund Certificate from the Board.

To become a full status estate agent, you must complete the Further Education Training: National Qualification Forum Level 4 Real Estate (NQF4) qualification, and then write your EAAB Professional Designated Exam level 4 (PDE4). All of these courses are available on our website and can be completed from the comfort of your home or office via an internet enabled mobile or computer device.

At PropAcademy, we strongly recommend that you start your NQF4 once you have been in the business for three months – while you are still completing your intern logbook PoE.

That’s because your NQF4 will take six-and-a-half months to complete. Then, once it’s submitted to SSETA (PropAcademy can assist you with this), it will take approximately one year before you are issued with a competency certificate.

Only once you have this can you can register with the EAAB to write your PDE4 to have your status changed from intern agent to full status agent – and you’ll be entitled to use the letters PPRE (Property Practitioner Real Estate) in your advertising material.

What if you have a degree or qualification which includes you having passed subjects that are directly related to the real estate industry? The EAAB makes provision for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) so it’s possible that you may be exempt from writing the NQF4 qualification.  An exemption matrix is available on the EAAB website.

Recognition of Prior Learning also relates to estate agents who have been estate agents since 2008 with no break in service and wrote the old Estate Agents Exam during that period.

So now you’ve completed your NQF4 (or obtained exemption) and your PDF4 qualification. You’re a full status estate agent. Your next step is to go on and achieve Principal Estate Agent status.

The EAAB requires you to have at least two years’ hands-on management of running a business, or to have been involved in the running of your employer’s estate agency firm. In addition, you will have to obtain an NQF5 qualification and pass your PDE5 exam.

Your NQF5 can be completed in six months but your work will then have to go through the normal SSETA channels before you can be issued with a certificate of competency.

Once that is done and you have your certificate, you will have to register with the EAAB to write your PDE5 and voilà, you will now be a Principal Estate Agents (soon to be known as a Principal Property Practitioner).

And NOW you can register and run your own estate agency business.

There are many regulations that must be adhered to in running your own estate agency. These are set out in the Estate Agents Affairs Act as well as the Code of Conduct and Ethics. PropAcademy can help to guide you through the requirements to ensure that when you are audited by the Board you are not penalised for any irregularities.

If you have any questions or would like further assistance with the process of becoming a real estate agency owner, or you’d like to know more about the real estate courses we offer, please feel free to contact us, and we’ll gladly assist you.

Written by Janet Alexander, CEO, PropAcademy