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Real Estate Agents (Amendment) Decree 2011

REPUBLIC OF FIJI ISLANDS


GOVERNMENT OF FIJI


REAL ESTATE AGENTS (AMENDMENT) DECREE 2011
(DECREE NO. 42 OF 2011)


IN exercise of the powers vested in me as the President of the Republic of Fiji and the Commander in Chief of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces by virtue of the Executive Authority of Fiji Decree 2009, I hereby make the following Decree—


A DECREE TO AMEND THE REAL ESTATE AGENTS ACT 2006


Short title and commencement


1.—(1) This Decree may be cited as the Real Estate Agents (Amendment) Decree 2011.


(2) This Decree shall commence on a date or dates appointed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette.

(3) The Minister may appoint different dates for the commencement of different provisions of this Decree.

(4) The Real Estate Agents Act 2006 is referred to as the 'Principal Act'.

Section 3 amended


2.—(1) Section 3 of the Principal Act is amended by—


(i) repealing and replacing subsection (2) (a) with the following—


"(a) being a legal practitioner, the person acts, in the course of business as a legal practitioner, to prepare all legal documentation pertaining to the sale, purchase or other disposition of land,the acquisition of land or the leasing or letting of land and charge professional fees as a legal practitioner."


(ii) inserting a new subsection (6) after subsection (5)—


"(6) No legal practitioner shall act for and on behalf of any credit or financial institution for the purposes of selling or disposing of lands or instruments of titles by mortgagee sale, providedhowever, that a legal practitioner may only be engaged in the preparation of legal documentation pertaining to any such mortgagee sale."


Section 4 amended


3. Section 4 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting the following subsections after subsection (8)—


"(9) The Board may from time to time make rules as to its own proceedings under this Act and the carrying out of the powers vested in the Board by this Act.


(10) The Board shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and may, in such name—


(i) sue and be sued;


(ii) enter into contracts and other legal obligations;


(iii) hold or dispose of properties; and


(iv) perform any such acts as bodies corporate may, by law, perform."


Section 5 amended


4. Section 5 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting the following after the word "functions"— "or the exercise of its powers under the Act,"


Section 6 amended


5. Section 6 (3) (a) of the Principal Act is amended by deleting the word "four" and substituting with the word "three".


New sections inserted


6. The Principal Act is amended by inserting the following new sections after section 66—


"Search warrants


66A.—(1) If a Magistrate is satisfied by information on oath that there is reasonable cause tosuspect that any place has been or is being or is likely to be used in connexion with a contravention of this Act or for the keeping of records relating to a contravention of this Act, he or she may issue the search warrant to any Board member or authorised persons to enter and search such premises or place for the purpose of exercising therein, the powers conferred by this Act.


(2) No provision of this section shall be taken to authorise forcible entry by any Board member or authorised persons, under section 66B, to any premises save under the authority of a warrant obtained by him or her pursuant to subsection (1).


(3) A search warrant issued under this section shall, for a period of one month from its issue, be sufficient authority, to any Board member or authorised persons, to whom it is directed, to—


(a) enter the place specified in the search warrant; and


(b) exercise in respect of the place specified in the search warrant all the powers conferred by this Act.


Power of entry, search and seizure


66B. For the purposes of this Act and subject to section 66A, any Board member or authorised persons may—


(a) enter any office or premises at any time that the performance of his or her functions requires such entry;


(b) when entering any office or premises, take with him or her such equipments and materials as he or she considers contravenes the provisions of this Act;


(c) search any person if he or she reasonably suspects that such person is guilty of any of the offences under this Act;


(d) require the production and examination of any document and take copies or extracts of any document, or part of any document; or


(e) seize and detain anything which any Board member or authorised persons has reason to believe to be or to contain evidence of any of the offences under this Act.


Obstruction


66C.—(1) A person shall not obstruct the Board or any person authorised by the Board, in the exercise of its powers under this Act.


(2) For the purposes of this Act, a person shall be deemed to obstruct the Board or any person authorised by the Board, in the exercise of its powers, if he or she—


(a) directly or indirectly prevents any person from being questioned or from furnishing under this Act any information or records or copies thereof or attempts to do so; or


(b) in any other way obstructs or attempts to obstruct authorised persons.


(3) Any person who contravenes this section shall be guilty of an offence.


Board may issue prohibition notice


66D.—(1) Where the Board cancels the licence in accordance with section 66, it shall issue to the person a prohibition notice prohibiting the continuation of the business.


(2) A prohibition notice shall—


(a) state that the Board is of the opinion that in the workplace, business being carried out is contravening the provisions of this Act;


(b) state the reasons for that opinion; and


(c) where in the Board's opinion the act involves or will involve a contravention or likely contravention of this Act, specify the relevant provision and state the reasons for that opinion.


(3) A person to whom a prohibition notice is issued who contravenes or fails to comply with it, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act."


Section 77 amended


7.—(1) Section 77 (1) of the Principal Act is amended by inserting after the word "Board", the following words, "or authorised persons:"


(2) Section 77 (1) (b) of the Principal Act is amended by inserting after the number "69,", the following word, "or".


(3) Section 77 (1) of the Principal Act is amended by inserting after subsection (b),the following subsection— "(c) issues a prohibition notice to a person,"


(4) Section 77(1)of the PrincipalActis amended byinsertingthe words, "or a personissued with a prohibition notice," after the word "company".

Section 78 amended


8.—(1) Section 78 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting "(1)" before the words "Where a decision of the Board is to cancel a licence or refuse an application to renew any licence, that decision shall be of no effect until:"


(2) Section 78 of the Principal Act is amended by inserting a new subsection (2)—


"(2) Where the Board has issued a prohibition notice, the prohibition notice shall continue to take effect unless the Minister decides otherwise."


Section 88 amended


9. Section 88 is amended by deleting the words "and shall pay the same into the Consolidated Fund at such times and in such manner as the Minister of Finance may direct" and replacing it with the following words "and shall, immediately upon receipt, pay the same into the bank account or bank accounts opened by the Board under section 88A."


New section 88A inserted


10. The Principal Act is amended by inserting a new section after section 88—


"Bank Accounts


88A.—(1) The Board must open a bank account or bank accounts for the performance of its functions.


(2) The withdrawals of such monies from the accounts must be endorsed by prior resolution of the Board or to be endorsed by the Board as soon as practicable, after withdrawal or payment.


(3) The withdrawal or payment from such accounts must be made only by such person or persons authorised by the Board."


Given under my hand this 29th day of September 2011.


EPELI NAILATIKAU
President of the Republic of Fiji



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