Lands CS Spotlights Challenges of Kenya’s 2023 Real Estate Bill in Dealing with Agents

Kenya Real Estate Agent
Kenya Real Estate Agent

Lands Cabinet Secretary, Alice Wahome, has come out strongly against the Real Estate Regulation Bill 2023, urging the Senate to reject it. Wahome, during her appearance before the Senate Lands and Environment Committee in Nairobi, voiced concerns regarding the bill’s approach to regulating real estate agents and developers. She argued that the bill fails to adequately distinguish between the distinct professions of real estate agency and real estate development, suggesting a conflation of the two realms.

Wahome emphasized the importance of recognizing the nuanced differences between real estate agency and development within the regulatory framework. She highlighted that while real estate agents operate within the scope of a specific profession, developers engage in the intricate processes of property development, including construction, subdivision, and titling. By failing to distinguish between these roles, Wahome cautioned that the bill may inadvertently create confusion and regulatory challenges within the real estate sector.

Proposing that the registration and regulation of real estate agents remain within the framework of the Estate Agents Act, Wahome pointed out the need for consistency with other professional regulatory boards. She cautioned against the interpretation of developers as estate agents, emphasizing the different roles they play in the real estate sector.

House For Sale in Nairobi Outskirts
House For Sale in Nairobi Outskirts

The Lands Cabinet Secretary stressed the need for a more nuanced and targeted approach to regulation, one that respects the unique responsibilities and functions of both real estate agents and developers. She underscored the importance of maintaining clarity in defining the roles and obligations of each party involved in real estate transactions, ensuring transparency and accountability throughout the process.

While acknowledging the positive intention behind the Real Estate Regulation Bill 2023 in regulating real estate investors, particularly those involved in off-plan sales, Wahome highlighted concerns. She stressed that the bill should exempt those not interested in offering properties off-plan.

Wahome’s critique underscores the necessity for lawmakers to carefully consider the implications of the proposed regulatory measures on the real estate industry. By acknowledging the distinct nature of real estate agency and development, policymakers can work towards crafting a regulatory framework that fosters transparency, protects consumer interests, and promotes sustainable growth within the sector.

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