Monday, June 29, 2009

Debt Collectors Act

The Council of Debt Collectors has made a finding which impacts Estate Agents and Managing Agents collecting arrear rent and / or levies.

For your ease of reference, I have included links below to the Press Release, the Finding by the Council of Debt Collectors and our preliminary legal opinion:

·
Press Release

·
Finding by the Council of Debt Collectors

·
Preliminary legal opinion

The finding has been made by the Council of Debt Collectors and not the Court.

Practically, what the finding means for Estate Agents and Managing Agents is, in order to collect arrear rent or levies you need to be a registered debt collector and the fees you charge for collection services such as letter of demand are regulated in terms of the Debt Collection Act. Click here to view
Council of Debt Collectors Regulated Fees

The crux of the finding is that Estate Agents and Managing Agents are in fact debt collectors and the main issue to be dealt with is excessive collection charges billed to tenants or levy accounts.

TPN Collections is a registered debt collector and the letter of demands sent via the TPN system is still a viable option. However each Estate Agent or Managing Agent who simple picks up the phone to make a demand for collection of arrear rent or levies is doing so as a debt collector who should be registered as such.

TPN has made contact with the Estate Agents Affairs Board. I will hopefully be in a position to feedback additional information shortly.

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