Nandlall touts regulations for Guyana’s real estate market
- Says will bolster fight against money laundering
Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, on Tuesday said that regulations for the local real estate industry are now long overdue even as he committed the government’s efforts to ensure that the necessary legal framework is put in place soon.
Such regulations could amount to the licensing of real estate agents who currently operate in the market without such authority and are constantly accused of excessive and unacceptable behaviour.
The Attorney General’s comments came hours after he met with stakeholders in the real estate industry at his Chamber where they requested that he take steps to put in place regulations to govern real estate agents and real estate transactions in Guyana which largely involves the buying and selling of properties and lands.
The call for regulations for the real estate market has been a decade old one in Guyana. In the absence of a regulatory body, a real estate commission, board, or authority with sanctioning power, there is no recourse for buyers, unless the person is willing to take a real estate agent through tedious and expensive court proceedings.
Nandlall, during his ‘Issues in the News’ commentary on his Facebook page Tuesday night, agreed that regulation for the expanding industry has become necessary since Guyana became an oil producer.
“It is an outstanding obligation that we have and it assumed greater importance because of intense commercial activities.
“Regulations are long overdue and the need for regulations to be brought to this industry assumed greater importance since we became an oil and gas producer,” Nandlall said.
He explained large international companies are coming to Guyana where large transactions involving the sale and transfer of lands are taking place coupled with several joint business ventures to the tune of billions.
“… and we have an unregulated real estate industry.”
Nandlall believes that putting regulations in place for the real estate market will also bolster the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) fight.
“We have to understand that our regulatory, accountability and transparency in respect to anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism needs to be constantly updated,” the Attorney General added.
He said real estate is an important part of the AML/CFT apparatus.
“It is true that real estate can be a fertile avenue for the laundering of money and proceeds of crime.”
The government has already tabled the Condominium Bill in the National Assembly which is expected to be debated and passed during a sitting of the House next week.
“That is another piece of legislation that is preparing the legal landscape of Guyana for the take-off that we are witnessing.
“I keep saying all the time we have to update our laws and revamp our legal system to ensure it embraces the modern changes that are taking place or else the legal system will be left behind and commerce will run ahead,” Nandlall added.