In a historic move for Guyana’s burgeoning real estate industry, the National Assembly ratified a ground-breaking legislation on Friday, the Real Estate Agents and Brokers Bill, or Bill No. 11 of 2023. This milestone marks the first-ever law of its kind in the country, laying the groundwork for comprehensive regulation, licensing, and process standardization across the real estate industry. Awaiting Presidential assent, the Bill was hailed by lawmakers as a much-anticipated reform.

The Bill’s sweeping coverage encapsulates not just estate agents and brokers, but also sales associates, while outlining conduct protocols and other related procedures. Apart from establishing an obligatory code of conduct, the Bill enforces the mandatory licensing of real estate practitioners, prescribes necessary qualifications, and stipulates ethical guidelines. It further empowers a governing authority, enforces disciplinary proceedings, and enumerates offences resulting from non-compliance.

Mohabir Anil Nandlall, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, initiated the debate on the importance of the Bill, stressing on the urgency of introducing governance in this significant economic sector. “The real estate business has been part of our commercial sector from time immemorial…it is a sector which generates perhaps billions of dollars annually in sales and agreements and employs dozens of persons,” Nandlall declared, calling attention to the previously unregulated nature of the industry and its implications.

In addition, the Attorney General acknowledged citizens’ past grievances about fraudulent practices while transacting property deals, adding, “It is simply a free-for-all. This has led to arbitrary and capricious conduct, exploitative practices, unfair and irregular dealings, fraud, and illegalities.”

The Bill’s crafting was a collaborative effort involving key stakeholders, and it ensures Guyana’s adherence to the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s standards. Nandlall pointed out that this move aims to counter potential money laundering activities prevalent in the industry.

Other key figures, such as Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneidge Walrond, and Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, along with Members of Parliament Alister Charlie and Dharamkumar Seeraj, also endorsed the Bill. They collectively highlighted its potential to enforce standards and ethics, attract investors, ensure transparency, and protect consumers.

This enactment is part of the PPP/C government’s pledge to modernize Guyana’s legislative architecture in line with the country’s significant economic expansion and the increased property transactions resulting from it. The Bill aligns with the legal framework present in other Caribbean nations and was formed following extensive consultations.


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