From May, 2012 a new body, the Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) has been set up to regulate the provision of property services in Ireland.
This new body covers auctioneers/estate agents, property management service providers, and letting agents.
Anyone providing property services in Ireland requires a licence and is leaving themselves open to up to 5 years in prison and an unlimited fine if they provide property services without one.
A separate licence is required for each property service.
There are a number of different application forms depending on whether you are a sole trader, independent contractor, company or partnership.
The Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 is the relevant piece of legislation which you can find at www.IrishStatuteBook.ie and the PSRA (www.NPSRA.ie ) have produced a booklet explaining the whole procedure together with the application forms and notes to help you with filling out the application.
Sole Trader/Independent Contractor Example
The following comprises the main requirements for a sole trader/independent contractor but is not comprehensive or exhaustive.
Please refer to the guide here. ..Guide to Becoming a Licensed PSP
Your application would be as a sole trader or independent contractor (depending on whether you have employees or not) and the main requirements are as follows:
- A completed and signed Application Form (PSRA/LA 3)
- Evidence of your qualification(s) or necessary experience (see below)
- Evidence that the required level of Professional Indemnity Insurance, which covers both the employer and employees, is or will be available to you,
- Accountants Report,
- Tax Clearance Details,
- Certificate of Business Name Registration (only required if you intend using a business name-it is not necessary to trade under a business name but if you choose to do so the business name will have to be registered),
- Prescribed Licence Fee (€1,000),
- Passport size photograph,
- Compensation fund contribution of €200.
The necessary experience required is that you have held an auctioneer’s licence for three out of the last five years.(This is not now the case-see the amendment below which points up the difference between the booklet published by PSRA and the published regulations covering the qualifications requirement)
The level of professional indemnity insurance cover which must be provided for is as follows:
“the amount insured for each and every claim (exclusive of defence costs) must be at least twice the business’s annual fee turnover (exclusive of VAT) in the previous fiscal year subject to a minimum cover of €500,000 (five hundred thousand euro), with no limit on the number of claims in any one year.”
Hopefully this article together with the guide above will give you a good understanding of what is now required to become a licensed property services provider in Ireland.
Update 18th June, 2012
The PROPERTY SERVICES (REGULATION) ACT 2011 (QUALIFICATIONS) REGULATIONS 2012 sets out the qualifications requirements for applicatnts for the various licences and were published on 5th June 2012.
These regulations appear to different significantly from the booklet published by the PSRA as the regulations now give some discretion to the PSRA in relation to the applicant proving he/she has attained the minimum qualification requirements.
Here is an extract:
“minimum qualification requirements”, in relation to an application for a
(a) the applicant has, in respect of the subject areas specified in the Schedule, successfully completed a course of studies which has led to the
awarding to him or her, by a nationally recognised awarding body or
awarding bodies, of 120 ECTS compatible higher education and training credits at levels 6 to 10 of the framework of qualifications (in this
definition referred to as the “Irish framework”),
(b) the applicant has, in another jurisdiction, in respect of the subject
areas specified in the Schedule, successfully completed a course of
studies which has led to the awarding to him or her, by a body or
bodies in that jurisdiction that is or are equivalent to a nationally
recognised awarding body or awarding bodies, credits, under a framework in that jurisdiction that is equivalent to the Irish framework,
equivalent to levels 6 to 10 of the Irish framework,
(c) the applicant has lawfully engaged in, and for periods amounting
together to not less than 3 years of the 5 year period immediately
preceding the making of the application, the provision of the property
service for which he or she is seeking the licence, or
(d) the applicant has such other qualifications or experience, or both,
which, although not falling (or fully falling) within paragraph (a), (b)
or (c), satisfies the Authority that the applicant is suitable to provide
the property service for which he or she is seeking the licence
The PSRA application form for a sole trader/independent contractor now refers to “evidence of my engagement full time in the provision of Property Services for 3 of the last 5 years” which is a significant difference from page 13 of the PSRA booklet which states:
In the case of a Sole Trader or Independent Contractor 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.