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Bogus estate agents

Bill Rawson, president of the Institute of Estate Agents (IEASA), says it is clear that members of the public must make sure that the estate agents they deal with are legally registered and licensed. If not, they are illegal and probably out to rip-off the public.

The 3rd Degree programme showed an unregistered estate agent allegedly taking money from a couple who wanted to buy a house. He completed no paperwork, yet allowed them to occupy the house, and registered it in his own name instead of theirs.

Since 1977 every estate agency firm and estate agent is required to be registered with the Estate Agency Affairs Board and registration must be renewed every year. He says that members of the public are entitled to ask estate agents to produce their registration documents (called fidelity fund certificates), and they are also entitled to phone the Estate Agency Affairs Board to verify registration details.

The Board is about to launch a public awareness campaign, including radio announcements, poster displays and leaflet distribution at railway and taxi stations.

*Consumers can verify whether or not estate agencies are legally registered by phoning the Estate Agency Affairs Board at 0860 102 438 or 011 880 9994.

Article on Property24

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