At least 76 estate agents have been blacklisted for either failure to renew their membership of the Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe (EACZ) in compliance with various legislative requirements or for not registering with the council in the first place.
This means they are barred from selling or managing property until they have become compliant.
EACZ regulates the agents in terms of the Estate Agents Act, which requires that all operating in the sector be registered with the council for accountability, with two critical registration conditions being having at least one principal registered estate agent, that is a fully qualified agent, and having a compensation fund.
Among estate agents that have been barred from operating because they have no compensation fund certificate are Phoenix Real Estate, CMC Property Managers, Fingold Real Estate, Sunbrid Properties and Homeslea.
Those that have neither contributed to the compensation fund nor met the requirement for having a principle agent are Prolific-life Homes, Hilstec Real Estate, Zim Auction Real Estate, Zonal Properties Keystone Real Estate, Royal Properties among others.
Some of agent are operating illegally after they were closed for failing to meet the demands of the law under which they must operate. These include Africa Real Estate, National Real Estate, Modern Properties, Page Properties and Quardster Real Estate.
Of the 76 agents listed as deficient in meeting laid down requirements 41 are not registered with the EACZ.
These unregistered estate agents included Sand River Real Estate, Baobab Real Estate, Bethel Properties, Bristol, Chipo Kagonda, Dombo Dube, Emporium Real Estate, Lahsun Real Estate, Midlands Real Estate, Realtors Merchants, Thorn link Properties and Victoria Properties, among many others.
EACZ registrar Ms Grace Mukahanana said the entities and individuals that have been blacklisted were not allowed to trade in estate agency business in the country, and that included assisting in selling and managing properties.
“These entities and individuals have not complied with regulations under which they must operate that are meant to protect the public,” she said.
She warned members of the public to verify with EACZ before engaging in business with the listed entities and individuals.
“The council will not accept liability for actions or omissions of these entities or individuals,” said Ms Mukahanana.
The main reason why real estate agents should register with EACZ is to ensure there is recourse to justice in case of a dispute between transacting parties.
EACZ does an audit every year so as to check whether there are any irregularities in the operations of estate agencies. Once a real estate agent audit report is approved they must contribute towards the compensation fund.