Estate agents who may be unqualified?

Edel Morgan has an interesting article in the Irish Times today about estate agents having problems getting their licenses set up – the financial services industry went through the same set of issues nearly ten years ago. New forms, paperwork and bureaucracy always suffer teething problems but on the point below there is an obvious answer:

However one south Dublin estate agent, who declined to be named, said he is worried that he may not meet the requirements for licensing despite nearly 20 year’s experience. He was trading under his own name for less than three years prior to his application and the legislation says that sole traders or independent contractors need to show “evidence that the applicant was the holder of a licence or permit issued under the Auctioneers and House Agents Acts 1947 to 1973 for three of the five years immediately preceding the making of the application.”

In financial services there was a similar problem of people having a long established work record but lacking the specific qualifications that were developed for the role (often after they had been working in the industry for a long time and therefore wasn’t needed to obtain the job they already did).

This situation arose with many professions in the past, including Doctors and Architects. The short term solution is ‘grandfathering’ – which they used in financial services. Where you had to prove that you had been working in a certain capacity for a number of years prior to the regulation coming in. It was specific in that you couldn’t get blanket coverage, you had to state and prove the specific areas of the industry you were to be grandfathered in and if you moved into another field you would be required to get the qualifications relevant to the new area.

What surprises me is that such an obvious consideration is not in the legislation already?


  1. Emmet Doyle

    Interesting you hold such views on industry participants, training education in light of this
    Accountants only to give mandatory advice on mortgage debt despite us in the industry being the de facto the only body qualified and licensed to do so by the central bank. An accountant is no more qualified to give advice on mortgage debt than a dentist unless he specialises in this filed which is highly unlikely. Tremendous job you did ensuring licensed mortgage intermediaries are heard in the steering group on mortgage arrears. But I see you have that base covered.
    Way to go Karl.

  2. Hi Emmet,

    Can I ask you to clarify something – are you trying to say that I hold blame for intermediaries not being used as the professionals in dealing with this? If so can you expand on why that is?
    many thanks

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