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MIPEAC: Separate board for estate agents will roll back years of progress

PETALING JAYA (Nov 1): Responding to calls for a separate board for estate agents in the country, the Malaysian Institute of Professional Estate Agents and Consultants (MIPEAC) said setting up a separate board for the profession is not viable.

In a press statement today, president of the institute Francis Loh pointed out that it has been almost 35 years since estate agents were registered under the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Act 1981 (Act 242), via an amendment Act in 1984.

The profession is currently being regulated under the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP), which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Finance.

Hence, to establish a separate board for estate agents under a different ministry would entail a long and steep learning curve again, having to be regulated by a completely new board, which may comprise of members totally new to the industry, he said in the statement.

“This would definitely roll back 35 years of progress for the profession. This will also make a mockery of the property services industry as many registrants practise a mix of estate agency, research and consultancy, property management and valuation, as well as emerging sub fields of intellectual property, plant and machinery and business valuations.

“The formation of a separate board within or without the Finance Ministry itself will merely be replicating and formalising what is already put in practice for years by the board with its separate estate agency committee,” he added.

“There is no necessity to reinvent the wheel,” he noted.

Loh said MIPEAC acknowledges that the role of BOVAEP, which is to regulate the profession and to protect public interest, may be in conflict with the objectives of the associations of private practitioners which are formed mainly to further the interest of the practitioners.

However, where there is agreement among the various associations in regards to any proposed changes in policies, the changes are mostly adopted as the board  gets feedback through the various associations representing the real estate profession before implementing any policies, he said.

“All the standards guidelines and circulars in force today by BOVAEP were the result of representations made by practising estate agents,” he added, citing the registration of negotiators by their respective agencies with the board, and the amendment of Act 242 to strengthen the law and its enforcement against illegal agents.

There is also the revised Malaysian Estate Agents Standards (MEAS) that are in the final stages ready to be rolled out and the changes to the Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents Rules 1986, which are awaiting the Finance Minister’s approval.

“All these have taken place with the involvement of current stakeholders in the private practice, each having their representatives at both the board and subcommittee levels, namely the Estate Agency Practice Committee (EAPC). The onus is on the various stakeholders representing the practitionersl,” he said.

“Of course, there are disagreements and frustrations in certain aspects but that may need a longer time to resolve. Sometimes there are just limitations to what can be enforced or implemented but the board has either been receptive or willing to discuss matters. Where issues are beyond the scope of the board to handle, it engages with other agencies and ministries to seek views and solutions,” he concluded.

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