Registration of assistant real estate agent

Registration of assistant real estate agent

by George Coucounis

“A physical person who is employed by a licensed real estate agent can be registered in the Registry of Assistant Real Estate Agents”

An assistant real estate agent is a physical person who is employed by a licenced real estate agent and carries out real estate transactions under his instructions provided he is registered in the Registry of Assistant Real Estate Agents. The mediation for a real estate transaction is exercised by a licensed registered real estate agent and when an assistant real estate agent participates, he is required to be registered in the Registry. The qualifications for registration of a physical person in the Registry of Assistant Real Estate Agents are defined in article 12 of the Real Estate Agents Law, L.71(I)/2010 and every interested party must submit an application no later than 30 days from the date of commencement of the employment, otherwise the period of practicing this position will be considered to have commenced 30 days before submitting the application for registration. The application is submitted to the Council of Real Estate Agents and is accompanied by the necessary proof of possession of the qualifications required for the registration. The person concerned must be a citizen of the Republic or a Member State of the European Union, not be bankrupt or legally incapacitated, have a high school diploma or equivalent and have not been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or moral indecency and if convicted to have been restored.

The Council during the examination of the application has the power to request further proof and information or documents that will allow it to examine the application and the applicant must comply. If he fails to provide them within the time limit set, the Council may reject the application for that reason alone. The rejection decision of the Council is notified to the applicant, who may challenge its legality before the Administrative Court. Such a case was examined by the Court in a judgement issued on 10.5.2022 in a recourse by an applicant who complained that the decision of the Council to reject his application for registration in the Registry of Assistant Real Estate Agents was invalid and illegal.

The applicant submitted an application for registration in the Registry which was accompanied by detailed emolument certificates and that his employer was a registered real estate agent and a company. The Council dealt with the application late and requested in a letter to the declared employer to appear before it on a specific date for a personal interview, providing proof concerning the applicant’s employment. The Council asked for monthly pay slips regarding the salary of the applicant, bank account statements showing the salary deposits, payroll copies, the transactions handled by the applicant and other information. The employer did not attend the scheduled hearing and in a letter by his lawyer to the Council, he alleged that the Council’s demand was illegal and constituted an excess of power. Consequently, the Council sent a letter again inviting the declared employer to provide the requested proof and information and the applicant to appear before the Council on a specific date, but they did not do so. The Council dealt with the applicant’s application and rejected it giving its reasoning.

The Court held that the Council had the power to request further supporting documents for the applicant’s employment and the refusal on the part of both him and his employer to provide the documents proving his employment was incomprehensible. It added that although there had been a delay in the Council examining a simple application, the applicant himself had not acted diligently in submitting the required information since the Council had reservations about his employment with the declared employer. The delay in the examination of the application could not lead to invalidity, since a final rejection decision was issued.

With regard to the applicant’s complaint for prejudice, the Court held that a mere allegation of prejudice or subjective allegations of acute hatred, were not sufficient, always taking into account the fact that the burden of proof of such a claim lies with the person alleging prejudice. The Court concluded that what the Council requested was justified in the context of the due diligence which an administrative body ought to carry out before taking an administrative decision. On the contrary, the refusal of these two persons was unjustified and led the Council to take a rejection decision, a decision within its powers, applying the provisions of article 13(4) of the Law, giving appropriate reasoning. Consequently, the Court dismissed the recourse as unfounded and reaffirmed the decision of the Council.