State Law for Real Estate Professionals

By Jorge M. Conde, Esq.

If you are entering the real estate market, the first thing you will encounter while trying to find help for buying, selling or renting a property is a Real Estate Professional; yet only 17 out of the 32 states in Mexico regulate the services of Real Estate Professionals.

The state of Baja California Sur has recently joined the list. On June 27th, 2017 the local Congress approved the “Law to Regulate Real Estate Professionals in Baja California Sur”, which requires all Real Estate Professionals to obtain a License and register before the local Registry of Real Estate Professionals, to provide brokerage services to the public.

To obtain a License, legal entities (brokers) and individuals (agents) shall submit among other documents, legal documentation evidencing their existence/identity, Tax Registry Number (RFC), a certificate of criminal background check and most important, evidence their professional qualifications (exceptions apply during 2019). Legal entities with a License bears responsibility for the actions of the real estate agents or advisors working under its supervision, who should also suffice the same adequate training as the licensed individuals.

The Law does not define the minimum education requirements to obtain a License and delegates to the local Government the authority to establish the training standards, considering the opinion of an upcoming Real Estate Board that will integrate Government officials and real estate professionals. The local Government shall execute the necessary agreements with Training Institutions and/or Organizations to provide real estate courses and evaluations to applicants.

A new Registry of Real Estate Professionals has been established to allow clients to verify the name, address, License number and sanctions imposed to Real Estate Professionals, if any, available online.

The License will be valid for 3 renewable years (plus annual renewal fee). Foreigner Real Estate Professionals with a License and registration must have the relevant work permit from the Mexican Immigration Department to provide brokerage services.

Pursuant to the Law,  the local Government together with the upcoming Real Estate Board will establish the “Code of Ethics for Real Estate Professionals”, which will be integrated by a set of principles, values, and guidelines to be followed by Real Estate Professionals in their practice.

The new Law is a major step against informality. Its provisions are in force since January 1st, 2018 and the rules and regulations for its implementation were issued on March 14th, 2019. As of such date, Real Estate Professionals have the obligation to obtain a License.

The rules and regulations of the Law determine the technicalities and procedures for issuing a License, to operate the Registry of Real Estate Professionals and supervise the complaint system, to impose sanctions and assure the right of defense of Real Estate Professionals, among others.

Legal entities and/or individuals providing brokerage services to the public or claiming to be Real Estate Professionals without a License will be subject to a fine equivalent to $75,490.00 pesos, without prejudice of civil and criminal liabilities. Additionally, the local Government allows users to submit complaints against Real Estate Professionals via email.

To access the Registry of Licensed Real Estate Professionals please visit:

http://setuesbcs.gob.mx/padronapi2/

To learn more about obtaining your License and to download an applicant’s manual please visit:

http://setuesbcs.gob.mx/real-estate-agents/

Jorge M. Conde, licensed real estate attorney. jorge@calaw.com.mx Conde, Alvarez & Asociados, Attorneys at Law. www.calaw.com.mx  Cel. (624) 355-7803

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