How to register with estate agents registration board as a real estate agent in Kenya
To become a registered real estate agent in Kenya, one needs to be registered with the Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB). Only EARB registered and licensed Estate Agents with a current practicing annual certificate can conduct Estate Agency.
Section 18 of the Estates Agents Act Cap 533, Laws of Kenya provides as follows: –
1. After the expiration of six months from the commencement of this Act or such further period as the Minister may, by notice in the Gazette, allow either generally or in respect of any particular person or class of person: –
(a) No individual shall practice as an estate agent unless he is a registered estate agent;
(b) No partnership shall practice as estate agents unless all the partners whose activities include the doing of acts by way of such practice are registered estate agents;
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to fine not exceeding twenty thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both.
Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB) is the regulatory body for estate agency practice in Kenya and it derives its mandate from Estate Agents Act, 1984 Cap 533 which was operationalized in 1987.Becoming a registered real estate agent in Kenya enables you to legally participate in selling and renting out buildings and land.
In the civil case no. 94 of 2016 tree parties who had been engaging in the business of real estate were seeking Kshs. 46,250,000.00 as commission from the defendants. However, at least two of the parties in the partnership were not registered with the Estate Agents Registration Board(EARB). The court held that the Plaintiffs, having engaged in practice as Estate Agents contrary to the law they cannot file a suit and expect to be awarded commission arising from their illegal activities.
Conditions and qualifications for registration with the Estate Agents Registration Board (EARB)
To be registered as a real estate agent in Kenya, you need to be a Kenyan Citizen and:
a) A full member of the Institution of Surveyors of Kenya in specified departments; or
b) The holder of a degree, diploma or licence from any university or college or school which is recognized for the time being by the Board; or
c) a person who
a. is the holder of a degree, diploma or licence of a university or college or school or a member of an institution the membership of which is recognized for the time being by the Board as furnishing sufficient evidence of an adequate academic training for practice as an estate agent; and
b. has had, to the satisfaction of the Board, practical post qualification experience in such practice of not less than two years of which not less than six months has been in Kenya; or
d) a person who is not qualified under paragraphs (a), (b), or (c) but is of good character and satisfies the Board that he has not been convicted (whether in Kenya or elsewhere) of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty.
The registration is done on individual real estate agents. For partnership business, all the partners of such a business need to be registered as real estate agents as well. For companies, then the directors of such companies need to be registered as real estate agents by the board.
Wondering on what the procedure for an Agent to Register as a real estate Agent in Kenya? We break down the procedure as:
1. Visit the EARB website and complete the online form. You may alternatively visit the Estate Agents Registration Board offices in Survey of Kenya for more guidance.
2. Attach the relevant Certificates as indicated in the form or online i.e.
a. Passport size photo
b. Copy of ID or passport
c. Curriculum vitae
d. Academic certificates
e. Letter of recommendation from a registered and practicing Estate Agent. A sample is available on the EARB website.
f. Certificate of Good conduct applied through ecitizen.
3. Application fees of Kshs. 1,000.00
To pay the Estate Agents Registration Board application fees,
1. Go to MPESA menu.
2. Go to Lipa na M-PESA options.
3. Select Pay Bill option.
4. Enter Business No. 522522
5. Enter Account No. 1104163829
6. Enter Amount. Kes. 1,000
7. Enter Your PIN number
8. Append the transaction code (e.g OKF4W7KG9KJ9) to the application form field required.
You may also pay the application and other fees through KCB Account number 1104163829.
Once you submit the application documents, the board will vet your application and after a period you will receive a call to pick up a letter to inviting you to attend an interview with the Estate Agents Registration Board. You will then need to pay an interview fee of Kshs. 3,000.00.
The interview usually seeks to get your understanding of the real estate profession including the regulations that apply. Key regulations include the real estate agents act Cap 533, the land Act of 2012, Rent Restriction Act, The Landlord and Tenants Act and The 2010 Constitution.
If you pass the interview, you then register as a real estate agent. This will cost you an additional Ksh. 10,000. In case you do not pass the interview, you can re-apply and have another interview until you pass.
To increase the chances of passing the interview, the EARB conducts a pre-registration conference for interested applicants. This conference has been costing Ksh. 6,000. This conference is optional and you do not need to attend. It just helps to increase your chances of success in the interview.
Once you pass the interview, EARB holds an additional induction conference for all successful agents. This conference usually costs Ksh. 3,000 and attendance is optional. This conference allows you to interact with the board members, other agents and also learn more about the conduct of the real estate profession.
As a registered real estate agent, you will be subject to an annual license from the board. This license costs Ksh. 5,500. An annual but optional Trade license is issued by the board at Ksh. 5,000. It would thus cost you Ksh 10,500 to operate as a licensed real estate agent in Kenya.
Once you pay for the annual license and trade license, you do not need to pay for the same with the local authorities.
Please note the above fees may change from time to time but apply as at the date this article was written. To obtain up to date instructions, please email the Estate Agents Registration Board on [email protected] or call +254 741088144