The Director General and Chief Executive (DG) of the Land Administration Authority (LAA) Mr. Mahashe Chaka met with the Real Estate Agents recently at the LAA boardroom. The purpose of the meeting was to implore upon estate agents to organize themselves in a way that they are formally recognized as the viable players in the sector that play an important role in an effort to stimulate the land market.

Most importantly the DG unequivocally pointed out that members of the public are highly concerned about lack of honesty and as a result are short changed therefore warned the estate agents to put their house in order. “Clients complain that you do not show or give them plot numbers so that they can check the legitimacy of the plots by themselves.” He pointed out.

“The Government will not hesitate to close you down if some among you continue to operate not only unethically but illegally such as charging exorbitant prizes without necessarily identifying specific plots that you are dealing on.” Continued the DG. “As the Authority we therefore called you here today to explore ways on how we can assist you organize this sector better.”

He stated that although the role of the LAA is to work with cadaster and registration, the Authority still has a keen interest in ensuring that players in the land sector play according to the governing rules as stated by the Land Act 2010.

The Director General further stated that LAA as the custodian of all registered land in the country is in a better position to facilitate for a validation of the Real Estate Agents in order to ensure they are recognized as a sector. There are various stakeholders in the land sector the estate agents must always try to engage in their dealing on land. They are physical planners, the field owners, allocating authorities, who have to ensure that land is properly planned, for example, that there are access routes and burial grounds to mention but a few.

Challenges posed by unorganized estate agents include:

  • The profession of Real Estate Agents is not governed;
  • The Real Estate Agents Professionals are not known;
  • No standardized pricing
  • No official and formal way of dealing with clients’ complaints

Specific recommendations that emanated from the meeting include:

A steering committee of seven people was chosen to facilitate the formalisation of Real Estate Agency in Lesotho. This committee will organize a meeting at later stage where they will discuss amongst others the following:

  • How they should go about in forming an Association;
  • How the Association is to be formed (Structure);
  • The membership of the Association;
  • Should membership be inclusive of registered as well as unregistered companies; and
  • The qualifications of the members of the Association
  • The Committee will then compile a list of all Real Estate Agents and submit the same list to the office of the Land Administration Authority on or before the date discussed.

Other sectors the LAA works with are land surveyors, lawyers (dealing on land) and valuers.