Responsibility for estate agency staff

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Principal agent, or officer in effective control

The principal agent or officer in effective control is responsible for ensuring that appropriately qualified people work in an agency. This is a key aspect of managing an estate agency office.

An agency can only employ estate agents and agents’ representatives to carry out the estate agency work of:

  • buying, selling and leasing properties or businesses
  • negotiating
  • collecting rent.

Before they can start work, each employee must receive written authority from the principal agent or officer in effective control, setting out the functions they can perform. 

Download the Authority to perform the duties of an estate agent (Word, 106KB)

An estate agent or agent’s representative can work part-time and be employed by more than one agency. However, an agent’s representative managing a branch office cannot work in another agency at the same time.

The principal agent or officer in effective control is responsible for the actions of agents’ representatives if those actions benefit, or were intended to benefit, the agency. The principal agent or officer in effective control is personally liable for any money received by the agents’ representatives on behalf of the agency.

The Business Licensing Authority must be notified when an agency:

  • employs an estate agent or agent’s representative either to carry out estate agency work or to manage an office
  • makes any changes among staff or other officers, such as shareholders and directors of a corporation.

For more information, view our Update details (change of circumstances) - estate agents page.

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