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This has prompted Bayshore Real estate to revamp itself and bring a product which is user friendly, faster to use and offers viewers a chance to find a solution to their housing needs whether it be a rental or the purchase of a lot of land.
The Real Estate Agents Licensing Board says there are indications that more bogus agents are coming up in the market and through the REALB Roadshow, the board has been given information on more bogus agents.
REALB which has completed it’s awareness campaign with the Consumer Council of Fiji in the Northern Division, will investigate and try to get more information to prosecute the bogus agents.
Registered agents are appointed by REALB and they are issued with identification cards and certificates which contains their license number, expiry date and the name of the agent for a specific period.
Board Chairman, Doctor Abdul Hassan says there is a need to organize more awareness programs in the North to eradicate the bogus agents from the industry and educate the ordinary people who wish to buy or sell properties.
The Compliance and Monitoring Officer for Real Estate Agents Licensing Board of Fiji, Vinal Singh has already revealed that an island in Savusavu was sold for US$18.5 million which is part of the $42.154 million worth of complaints with REALB and Consumer Council of Fiji since 2017.Singh says this is 1 of 16 cases that is with the CID Office.
Bogus real estate agents and foreign real estate agents selling and advertising local properties are the two major complaints received by the two agencies.
Doctor Hassan says if people lack knowledge then there is a huge chance for the bogus agents to target them.He says this is a critical issue considering the amount of money involved in the real‑estate industry.
The board and Consumer Council have also concluded that the people in the Northern Division lack basic knowledge when it comes to real‑estate issues in their respective areas.This was highlighted after the roadshows held in Taveuni, Savusavu and Labasa.
They will continue to work on the awareness and education programs in the major urban centres in Fiji to help people understand about their rights which is protected under the law.
The Fijian government remains open to growing relations through enhanced political and strategic agreements.
This was mentioned by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Inia Seruiratu at the opening of the Familiarization Visit to Fiji by non‑resident Heads of Missions from Canberra and Wellington at the Grand Pacific Hotel.He says with the theme, Nurturing Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development is reflective of the nature and intent of this Familiarization Visit.
Seruiratu added that the facts and figures showed that Fiji’s trade is growing, exports are increasing, the Fijian government is creating more jobs, attracting historic levels of investment, Fiji’s economic base is steadily expanding its diversity, tourism earnings have risen and the levels of foreign reserves remain strong and continues to deliver development across the country at a pace Fiji has never experienced before.
He encouraged the accredited Ambassadors and High Commissioners to Fiji to identify at least one area or sector during their visit that they can cooperate in that and it would be of mutual benefit to our countries.He says Fiji also welcomes their partnership in areas of strengthening cooperation bilaterally in various sectors such as trade, investment, sports, tourism and multilateralism.
Sixteen cases of bogus real estate agents are currently with the Police Criminal Investigation Department.
From these cases, two people have already been charged and produced in court.
REALB’s Compliance and Monitoring officer, Vinal Singh says bogus agents are using various tactics to falsely advertise properties on social media platforms.
“Our Compliance team ta REALB go through all the social media web sites on daily basis whereby we identify some bogus agents using bogus names and advertising multiple properties which is illegal under the act.”
Singh says they’ve also started doing spot checks on licensed outlets.
REALB has a public register whereby people can access information about registered agents and sales people.
The Compliance and Monitoring Officer for Real Estate Agents Licensing Board of Fiji Vinal Singh says an island in Savusavu was sold for US $18.5 million which is part of the $42.154 million worth of complaints with REALB and Consumer Council of Fiji since 2017. Singh says this is 1 of 16 cases that is with the CID Office.
Singh says Bogus Real Estate Agents and Foreign Real Estate Agents selling and advertising local properties are the two major complaints received by the two agencies
REALB’s Chairman, Abdul Hassan also mentioned that an agent’s license was terminated and in cases like this, agents are called to the office to rectify the situation and are also issued warning letters.He says that people have to be smart when dealing with the Real Estate Agents and ask for their valid ID cards to avoid losses.
REALB and Consumer of Council of Fiji received $42.154 million worth of complaints in the Real Estate Sector since 2017.
To prevent the consumer rights of Fijians living in rural areas from being exploited, an initiative is underway to help them better understand their rights as consumers.
The initiative aims to train village headmen and arm them with the ability to conduct market surveillance and inspections.
Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission CEO Joel Abraham says the goal is to allow widespread coverage in villages and maritime areas in terms of market monitoring and compliance after which village headmen will then need to submit their monthly, quarterly and annual reports of the inspections conducted.
Abraham says this will allow the village headmen to raise issues at the Tikina and Yasana meetings.
He adds ultimately, the goal is to improve compliance with the FCCC Act 2010, and to ensure that villagers are not taken advantage of by unscrupulous traders.
Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission has partnered with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs to undertake this initiative and they will also facilitate and coordinate awareness workshops in communities and participate in roadshows and consultations.
Illegal activities in the Real Estate sector are on the rise as millions of dollars’ worth of complaints being received.
Consumer Council Chief Executive Seema Shandil says over twenty-five, complaints have been received by the Consumer Watchdog and Real Estate Licensing Board.
“Both agencies have recorded a combined $42 million worth of complaints and if you look at our complaints that the consumer council has received since 2018 to this day, it’s around 25, worth $ 320,000”
REALB Compliance and Monitoring Officer Vinal Singh says Fijians engaging real estate agents need to go through documents thoroughly before agreeing to it.Audio Player
“Our real estate agents sometimes they fail to educate the clients what is written in the contract and what will happen if there is any disclosed default and what will happen to the refunds of deposits so those are the major things complaints we receive at REALB”
Bogus agents are also a major concern and according to REALB, at least sixteen cases have been referred to the Police.