What Real Estate Agents in Ghana need to be prepared for in the New Legislation

On the 29th of December, 2020, the real estate agency bill 2020 (Act 1047) was enacted as a law to regulate real estate practice and all commercial real estate transactions in Ghana. As a real estate agent or broker, you surely do not want to be caught in the dark concerning the requirement of these new reforms. It is critical to be familiar with these reforms and prepare adequately for them. Aspects of the Act are discussed below;

The Licensing Regime

One aspect of this Act is the introduction of a licensing regime. Per the provisions of this Act, under article 22, a person cannot practice as a real estate agent or a real estate broker without a license. Only licensed real estate agents or brokers can provide real estate agency services, provide services as a real estate broker or agent, and engage in any business connected with the provision of real estate agency service or in a real estate transaction.

Condition for grant of License

The Act also establishes a Real Estate Agency Council as a corporate body. It is mandated per the Act, in article 4 (e), to issue a license to real estate agents and brokers.

According to article 24 (a) of the Act, the Board may issue a license to three (3) categories of persons who apply. They are;

  1. Those who passed the licensure examination
  2. Any member of the Estate and Valuation division of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors or lawyers licensed by the General legal council to practice as a lawyer;
  3. The third category is persons not resident in Ghana but licensed real estate agents or brokers in their country of residence. Anyone who has worked for more than five (5) years as an insurance broker before passing the law shall be licenced as a real estate agent or broker, provided he has no criminal record and has met all tax obligations.

The Board shall refuse the application of any person who doesn’t meet the following requirement

  1. Persons who do not have a Tax Identification Number (TIN)
  2. Persons convicted of an offence involving the state, fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude.
  3. Persons without professional indemnity insurance cover.

The Board shall conduct a background check of any applicant who applies for licensing.

These may include

  1. Academic qualification of the applicant
  2. Criminal History
  3. Inspection of the facilities of the applicant.

Any applicant who meets the above requirements as provided by the Act shall, within 60 days, be granted a license. The licence will be valid for one (1) year and renewable. It is also worth noting that a licence issued under this Act is not transferable.

Real estate agents that ignore the demands of the new legislation will soon be kicked out of the industry and be refrained from providing services as a real estate or engaging in any real estate transaction.

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