Tue, Jan 21, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Fine buyers, not agents: lawyers

’BEST SOLUTION’:The Association of Real-Estate Attorneys has joined the Chinese Association of Real-Estate Brokers in calls to put the onus on buyers to register prices

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Association of Real-Estate Attorneys director-general Su Jung-chi, third from left, addresses a press conference in support of a recent amendment to the Land Administration Agent Act in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The key to tightening the loopholes in the actual-price registration system for property transactions is to impose the obligation to register selling prices on the buyers, rather than on land administration agents, the Association of Real-Estate Attorneys said yesterday.

The association made the remarks at a press conference at the legislature yesterday morning, hours after Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) announced the Executive Yuan’s decision to order the legislature to correct an amendment to the Land Administration Agent Act (地政士法) that it passed on Jan. 3.

The amendment is designed to allow land registration agents who fail to declare property transaction information within 30 days of the registration of ownership transfer as required by Article 26-1 of the act, or who provide inaccurate information, a chance to provide the accurate information within a certain period of time.

Those who fail to do so within the specified period would be fined between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000.

Prior to the amendment, violators of the article were to be penalized immediately.

Urging the Executive Yuan to carefully weigh its decision, association director-general Su Jung-chi (蘇榮淇) said the legislature only agreed to his request that an amendment be drafted to address the problems of the registration system after much deliberation.

Su added that he had tried to bring the matter to the attention of the Ministry of the Interior since the registration system was launched on Aug. 1, 2012, but received no response.

“How come land registration agents have to face punishments if they fail to declare accurate transactions information within the given time, but the buyers don’t? It should be the obligation of the buyers, not the land administration agents, to register such information,” Su said.

The Chinese Association of Real-Estate Brokers (CAREB) made a similar suggestion yesterday.

“The real-price registration system has helped raised the price transparency of the housing market and is expected to do more good than harm. However, the buyers should be the ones bearing the obligation to declare transactions information,” the association said.

The association said land administration agents and real-estate brokers should only help the buyers file the information at their request, with fines being imposed on the former should they declare incorrect information deliberately and on the latter if they are found falsifying the information.

“That would be the best solution to the registration system’s problems… The government will cripple the system eventually if it only partially amends the act without putting the problems in a broader context,” the association said.

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