Is Your Real Estate Agent Legal And Registered?
For over 20 years the real estate market in Spain has been liberalised and since then anyone could work in the sector without any formal training or experience. This has led to many clients having a negative view of the profession because many people took advantage of the lack of control and did the job of an estate agent very badly and sometimes with illegal ends. There was no requirement for a Real Estate agent to be Legal and Registered.
Although other regions such as Catalonia had already put in place registration schemes to improve the professionalism of the sector, until now the Valencian Community had not. They published in the DOGV on the 16th of August, the DECREE 98/2022, of the 29th of July which states that as of the 16th of October 2022, all real estate agents in the Community must apply for registration as real estate agents.
Registration is compulsory and from that date onwards, real estate agents will have 12 months to prove that they meet specific requirements.
What are the requirements for registration as a Real Estate agent in the Valencian Community?
1 – Location requirements
A person acting as a real estate agent in the Valencian Community must have an establishment open to the public unless the services are provided exclusively at a distance by electronic or telematic means.
In these establishments, or at the physical address of the person providing services by electronic means, enquiries, complaints and claims from consumers and users about the intermediary services must deal with.
2 – Professional qualification requirements
Individuals acting as estate agents in the Valencian Community must provide proof of professional qualification to carry out the activity.
There are three ways of accrediting qualification:
- To own the official title of Real Estate Agent. If applicable, accredit membership of the corresponding Official Association of Real Estate Agents (API) or accredit not being a member.
- Hold a university degree in Social and Legal Sciences, Engineering or Architecture. This training must be certified, where appropriate, with the corresponding university degree.
- Holders of certificates of attendance and completion of academic training courses of at least 200 teaching hours in real estate matters related to mediation, consultancy, and service management, whether in the classroom, distance or virtual mode, issued by public education centres, private universities or centres with agreements with the Public Administrations or other entities whose statutes include training as one of their aims.
3 – Solvency requirements
- Take out a bank guarantee, this is to protect the money that clients have paid to the estate agent. The minimum guarantee or surety insurance for each agent shall be 60,000 euros per establishment open to the public and per year of coverage.
- Take out professional civil liability insurance or any other financial guarantee that covers, throughout the territory of the European Union, the liabilities that may arise due to professional negligence. The minimum civil liability insurance for each agent will be 600,000 euros per claim and a year of insurance with a sub-limit of 150,000 euros per victim.
Although not formalised as yet, law enforcement can apply as laid down in another law that is linked to this decree which has the following penalties:
- Infringements classified as serious shall be sanctioned with a fine of 10,000 to 350,000 euros
- Infringements classified as very serious shall be sanctioned with a fine of 350,001 to 950,000 euros.
No doubt some real estate agents will try to avoid registration, however as soon as some receive heavy fines it is likely that others will either leave the profession or become legally registered.
Whether you are a landlord, a tenant, a buyer or a seller, as of the 16th of October 2023 if you are using a real estate agent in the Valencian community check that they are registered. Those without registration could be acting illegally and they will not be giving you the guarantees that registration offers you.
If you want to know more about property here in Spain, please get in contact.
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