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New real estate act in the works

Real estate valuers in Barbados will soon be required to have a certificate of registration in order to practice on the island.

Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler said a proposal had been put forward for the introduction of a Valuer Registration Act.

He made the announcement at the opening of the third annual Caribbean Valuation and Construction Conference at the Hilton Barbados today. The theme was Managing Risks in Real Estate and Construction.

Some of the attendees of the conference.

Some of the attendees of the conference.

Acknowledging that other professionals were required to register and operate under the Business, Professional and Registrations Act, Sinckler said valuers were a “glaring exception” with no specific regulation to guide them with their job.

This, he said, created a level of uncertainty which needed to be addressed frontally.

“It is proposed, therefore, that all valuers in the industry will be registered under a new act so called the Valuer Registration Act. This Act will provide for the registration and regulation of valuers.

“The registrar, who will be responsible, shall issue to any person who is qualified and desirous of practicing as a valuer, certificates of registration, which must be displayed in a conspicuous place at his or her place of business. And no person shall engage in the practice of valuing land unless he or she holds a certificate of registration,” said Sinckler, adding that it was important for Barbados to conform to international valuation standards.

“It is also proposed that a valuers registration board be established, whose functions will be, among others, to consider and determine applications for registration under the Act, and to hear and determine complaints against and exercise disciplinary powers over persons regulated under the legislation,” added Sinckler.

Stressing the importance of the real estate industry, and in particular valuers to the economy, Sinckler said an unregulated industry could not go on for very much longer. He did not give an expected time frame for the introduction of the legislation but said he had already taken a look at similar pieces of legislation in the region and would be “borrowing” from some of them.

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