Estate agent and property brokers will need to have a licence to operate, according to a reform put for public consultation on Monday. 

Addressing a press conference, Lands Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius said that the licence requirement is expected to come into force by June 2021. 

The licences will be granted upon the completion of a training course that is to be offered by the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (Mcast). 

The courses are to be between eight and 12 points on the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) - the equivalent of two university modules. 

According to the proposed law, a licence will be valid for five years, with holders then expected to undergo further training to have it renewed. 

“Occasional operators” who are involved in no more than four transactions annually, are exempt from the licence requirement. 

Government consultant Robert Musumeci, who worked on the reform, told reporters that it also introduced a number of scenarios in which a licence can be revoked, with a new board to decide on such cases. 

Agents who have their licence revoked may also have access to legal remedy through an appeals process. 

Agius meanwhile said the reform had followed a white paper launched by his predecessor back in 2016. 

Agius said he had held exhaustive discussions the Developers’ Association, brokers, and long-standing real estate operators to find a way forward on the reform. 

According to the fourth anti-money laundering directive, estate agents are considered “subject persons”, and so the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit was also consulted as part of the proposed reform. 

The public consultation is open until March 26.

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