New Law Tightens Up The Real Estate Profession In Comunidad Valenciana
Real estate agents and other people directly involved in selling or renting property as a profession in the Comunidad Valenciana, which consists of the Alicante, Castellón and Valencia provinces, are facing tighter regulations including the requirement to be officially registered.
This will tighten up the profession by making it more transparent and imposing minimum standards for real estate agents.
The aim is to protect consumers because these services affect large numbers whose acquisition or sale of property has a great impact on the economy in general as well as on sellers and buyers in particular.
Other countries such as the USA and France already require real estate agents and brokers to be licensed. Now, under Decree 130/2021, Spain is joining them.
What does it mean for people offering real estate services?
If you work in real estate on a regular basis – that means being involved in more than two house sales or other housing operations in the Valencia region per year – you must be listed in the new Comunidad Valenciana Register of Real Estate Brokerage.
Anyone who isn’t registered faces hefty fines. Anyone already involved in the real estate business or who wants to become an agent or broker will need to meet the requirements to become registered.
The requirements include professional training, bank guarantees and insurance. Other professionals such as architects, doctors and lawyers already have to meet similar standards in order to practice in Spain.
What do you need to become registered?
You will need a professional qualification either:
- To be an official estate agent and a certified member of the official association of real estate agents.
- To have a degree from an accredited university in relevant social sciences or law, engineering or architecture.
- Anyone who does not have qualifications that are approved in Spain, which will include most foreign professionals, will need to obtain a course certificate of at least 200 hours in real estate subjects such as mediation, consultation and management services. These courses can be taken in face-to-face classes or distance/online learning.
Other requirements include:
- An office or establishment open to the public. Anyone who works exclusively online or by phone will need to provide an address within the Comunidad Valenciana.
- A guarantee by a financial institution or surety insurance to protect clients if a broker or agent is unable to transfer the amounts they receive as, say, deposits. The minimum amount of cover is €60,000 per establishment open to the public and year of coverage, and for people working exclusively by electronic means such as online, it will be a minimum of €300,000 per agent and year of service.
- Civil liability insurance covering the entire European Union territory to cover damages caused to clients through negligence or error. The minimum civil liability insurance cover is €600,000 per claim and year of insurance with a sublimit of €150,000 per victim. For agents working exclusively online, the minimum insurance will be €1,000,000 per claim and year of insurance with a sublimit of €150,000 per victim.
Agents will remain registered indefinitely unless they are suspended for breaching the requirements or they cancel their registration.
When is the deadline for registering?
The cut-off date is one year from when the decree was published, so until August 2023. You can register online or in person.
As this is a new requirement involving many additional obligations for agents and brokers, we recommend you contact a legal professional to help you with the process. For more information about the law or how to become a registered real estate professional in the Comunidad Valenciana, please get in touch with us.
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