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Qatar to act on rogue property agents

The National
Qatar to act on rogue property agents - Qatar - property agents

Estate agents in Qatar are applauding a proposal to clamp down on unlicensed freelancers A draft law approved by the advisory council last week would require all estate agents to register with the government and would impose fines of up to 50,000 rials (Dh50,434) on those operating without licences. The law would also regulate fees and advertisements.

"For us, it's amazing news," said Sam Youssef, the managing director of Better Homes in Qatar. "Freelancers are killing [the business]."

At present, there are no specific regulations for agents in Qatar. Property agents are required to have a general commercial licence, but there are no registration procedures or qualification standards.

Unlicensed agents operate throughout Doha, many working from their homes or cars, estate agents say.

"They undercut the market because they have no overhead," Mr Youssef said. "When you have a freelancer out there, all they want to do is make a quick buck."

There are "literally hundreds" of unlicensed agents working in Doha, said one estate agent, who asked not to be named. "Now and then you see ads in newspapers with no office information or address, just a mobile number."

Many freelancers misrepresent their contacts with landlords and charge unnecessary fees, estate agents say. Often they do not disclose conflicts of interest, such as a paid relationship with a project.


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