Last Updated on Tuesday, 2 May 2023, 17:21 by Denis Chabrol
Real estate agents were Tuesday urged to submit recommendations to improve a draft law titled the Real Estate Bill 2023 that will seek to ensure realtors comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism (AMLCFT) regime, Attorney General Anil Nandlall said.
“The Attorney General invited comments from the local real estate bodies on how the draft may be improved. Interested parties have two weeks to send their comments in writing, and the Attorney General is open to meeting with the agents again after the comments are received,” Mr Nandlall’s office said in a statement.
They have two weeks to recommend changes to the Bill.
He met with members of the Realtor Association of Guyana and the Guyana Association of Real Estate Professionals at the Attorney General’s Chambers, Carmichael Street, Georgetown. During the meeting, the Hon. Attorney General presented a copy of the draft Real Estate Bill 2023 and highlighted to the agents its core objectives and main provisions.
He reportedly further explained that Guyana’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework is slated to undergo its fourth round of mutual evaluation in September 2023 by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and Financial Action Task Force (FTAF), and the real estate sector has been identified as one of the areas where a regulatory framework is needed.
“The Bill will provide the requisite accountable and transparent legal framework in which real estate agents will operate and by which their transactions will be governed. The economic explosion taking place in the country results in billions of dollars passing through this sector which currently is almost completely without any regulation. This has been identified as a grave risk and such a state of affairs simply cannot continue. The Bill will be taken to Cabinet for approval, then laid in the National Assembly for enactment as soon as is practicable,” the Hon. Attorney General was quoted as saying in a statement.
He said the Bill was drafted after consultation with the local real estate bodies and takes into consideration the industry’s best practices and international standards. While the Bill provides for the sector to be as self-regulatory as possible, it incorporates a structure that brings together the Government, the private sector, and real estate operators. It addresses the licensing of realtors, qualifications required, ethical rules governing transactions, disciplinary procedures, the establishment of a governing authority, and creates offences for non-compliance, among others.
Representative of the Guyana Association of Real Estate Professionals, Nicola Duggan, thanked the Hon. Attorney General for the meeting and extended appreciation to the Government for the initiative which will allow for the transformation of the industry. She thanked the Attorney General for all the efforts exerted thus far, and noted that the association looks forward to the enactment of the Bill.