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Trinidad: Opposition Senator-Many ‘horror stories’ in real estate

TEMPORARY Opposition Senator Damian Lyder said there are many “horror stories” associated with the local real estate industry.

He was contributing to debate on The Real Estate Agents Bill in the Senate Wednesday.

He said he was the son of a retired real estate agent who had worked for more than 25 years, and he has heard a number of horror stories from him. He explained that because there was no legislation there have been cases of two agents working together and one unscrupulous agent not fully splitting the commission, and stories of people creating fake identification to match a deed and selling a property via unrecorded cash.

He also said two years ago a colleague who owns a quarry had an unknown party with a deed storm the quarry with armed personnel and take over and put out the rightful owner. He reported the situation took months to rectify with the police and the courts.

“It was a nightmare.”

Lyder said his father and other real estate agents had no other guide than the Association of Real Estate Agents (AREA), an unofficial association that has existed for more than 30 years. He supported an earlier call for AREA to be included in the bill.

He also called for the register of real estate agents (which the bill seeks to implement) to be available electronically rather than the inefficient and obsolete system of paying a fee to access it.

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