Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) is calling on the people of Fiji wanting to engage a real estate company or an agent to demand them to produce Identification Card before engaging them in the buying, selling, or renting of properties in Fiji.
REALB is concerned by the fact that illegal agents are dealing with university students making them victims of scam and fraudulent acts by taking security deposits or bonds and promising them to arrange renting premises or flats for the students. Members of the public are advised to demand individuals when approaching them to produce their REALB Identification Cards which has their (agent) license number approved by the Board. The public has the right to demand the ID card from those claiming to be an agent.
The Consumer Council of Fiji recently received complaints where individual claims to be a real estate agent and collected money to arrange a flat or house for rent. It is an offense under the Real Estate Agents Act 2006 Section 15 for anyone to be involved in the real estate activity without the license from the REALB.
REALB Chairman, Dr Abdul Hassan said students are most vulnerable to such fraudulent practices because they are desperate to rent flats close to the universities. “We understand that most of the students, both locals and regional, move to urban centres in Fiji to complete their studies and are in desperate need of accommodations,” Dr Hassan said.
“All agents registered under REALB are issued with the ID cards which clearly states their license number, name, and the expiry date of the license. There is no excuse from the agents or the salespersons to refuse to show their license cards. Having not produced then it should raise the alarm that the person might be an illegal agent and report the matter to REALB or to the Fiji Police Force for further investigation.
“Members of the public before dealing with the real estate agent can verify their information with the Board by calling 3300355 or by visiting our website www.realb.org.fj or send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org. REALB will update you with the information on any particular registered agent.”
Dr Hassan said the issue of illegal agents had been a major concern for the Board in the past. “To date, we have forwarded 19 cases of bogus agents to the Criminal Investigation Department for further investigation. For this year, we have investigated 10 cases and are still liaising with CID on this matter,” he said.
For any further enquires contact Communications Officer, Pravin Narain on email@example.com or call 3300355.