The Property Practitioners Act 22 of 2019

When did the Property Practitioners Act come into operation?
As of 01 February 2022, this new Act came into operation.

What is the benefit of this Act coming into operation?
The real estate industry in South Africa is taking a step into the future with a piece of legislation in its industry that is reflective of the country’s demographics. By doing this it is paving a path for those wanting to become property practitioners and at the same time providing protection for those who are buying or leasing property.

What is mandatory for a property practitioner to do before accepting a mandate from a seller or landlord?
A disclosure form setting out a comprehensive list of all the property’s defects. This document is called a mandatory disclosure form which must be signed by the seller/landlord, the purchaser/tenant and the property practitioner facilitating the sale/lease. The Act now makes it illegal for a property practitioner not to have this in place before accepting a mandate.

Why would you say it is essential to have this mandatory form completed properly?
The Property Practitioners Act encompasses consumer protection, and part of this is ensuring that a buyer or lessee is aware of every issue or problem related to the property. If a seller does not disclose (or tries to conceal) a defect that they knew about, they run the risk of later being sued by the buyer or lessee.


What must be included in the Mandatory Disclosure form?
The Act requires that all latent and patent defects must be disclosed of in this form.

  • A latent defect is something that an ordinary person when walking around the property cannot see at first glance, i.e., a leaking roof, faulty geyser, damp in walls etc.
  • A patent defect is something that an ordinary person can notice when walking around the property, i.e., a crack in the wall, a broken tile in a bathroom etc.

The property practitioner must ensure that this mandatory disclosure form is present, but they rely on the property owner to ensure that to the best of their knowledge this form gets filled out correctly and comprehensively.

What is a positive step forward to becoming a property practitioner?
The good news is those that who want to become a property practitioner is relieved to find out that the process is now a lot quicker.

Once you have written the exam to get your Candidate Property Practitioner Certificate, you can then write the next exam within six months and once you have passed the Professional Designation Examination (PDE), you can start selling property under supervision if you have also completed certain practical modules.

The old process required would-be agents to complete a year-long internship and pricy NQF4 exams.

What is another positive step forward to becoming a property practitioner?
Another positive change for real estate professionals is that Fidelity Fund Certificates (FFCs) will now be valid for three years instead of one. Also, a property practitioner’s FFC is no longer tied to a specific position. This allows a property practitioner to move to a different real estate agency or be promoted without having his or her existing FFC invalidated.

However, the Act imposes an obligation on conveyancing attorneys to request a copy of the Fidelity Fund Certificate for their files from the relevant Property Practitioner before making any payment, of their said commission or otherwise, to the said Property Practitioner.

Which key role players are affected by the creation of this Act?
The legislation in this Act affects anyone and everyone involved in real estate transactions (not just limited to real estate agents). Examples of other key players in the industry, but not limited to, are bond originators, bridging financiers, property developers, property managers, attorneys, and various other property professionals to name a few.

Here are a few other interesting facts about the Property Practitioners Act.

  • The Act has now done away with the Estate Agency Affairs Board and has now created the Property Practitioners Regulatory Authority.
  • Transformation is one of the most significant aspects of the Property Practitioner’s Act, which has also set up a special fund to support previously disadvantaged real estate agents (now called property practitioners). This fund has must be in place within six months of the Act coming into operation.
  • Another way of ensuring consumer protection is the introduction of Section 58 which places a limitation on the relationships that Property Practitioners have with other property market service providers. Section 58 provides that a Property Practitioner may not enter an arrangement whereby a consumer is obligated or encouraged to use a particular service provider including an attorney to render any service of which that Property Practitioner was the effective cause. A person who renders services in contravention of Section 58 is not entitled to any remuneration, payment, or consideration in respect of such services rendered.

Frequently Asked Questions

The first step in the process is a meeting of minds between an owner of a property and a purchaser. This is done once the offer to purchase (OTP) has been signed. Currently, in South Africa, digital signatures are not yet accepted on these types of agreements, and therefore they will need to be signed in wet ink. Once signed correctly, this offer to purchase becomes a binding legal document.

Burne and Burne Attorneys conveyancing_process

The transferring attorney controls the whole process, and they need to communicate with the following entities/people: –

  • Seller and Purchaser
  • Cancellation Attorneys (Sellers existing bond)
  • Bond Attorneys (Purchaser’s new bond)
  • Municipal Departments (Rates Clearance)
  • Levy Department (if sectional property)
  • SARS (Transfer Duty)
  • Agent’s (Estate Agent’s / Lodging Agent’s)
  • Deeds Office

Any other interested parties (i.e., Borer, Electrical, Gas, Electric Fence)

A normal transfer in South Africa should take anywhere between 6-8 weeks, but it could take up to 3 months in these uncertain times.

The seller/owner of the property is at full liberty to choose a Conveyancer or Conveyancing Firm to attend to the transfer of their property.

However, like many aspects of a sale agreement, there can be an agreement between the seller and purchaser regarding which Conveyancer or Conveyancing Firm they intend to use. This must be stipulated in the sales agreement to avoid any confusion prior to all parties signing.

If neither party has any preference with regard to a Conveyancer / Conveyancing Firm to use, and there is an estate agent involved, the estate agent has created relationships with certain Conveyancers / Conveyancing Firms and can suggest who to go with, but at the end of the day, the seller has the final say as to which Conveyancer / Conveyancing Firm they wish to use.