Section 38 of the Estate Agents Ordinance requires a licensed estate agent to:
- appoint a manager for each place of business;
- ensure that each such place is under the effective and separate control of a manager so appointed; and
- ensure that such a manager holds an estate agent’s licence (individual).
For this purpose, a place of business includes an office, whether principal or only office, and every one of the other offices, if any, whether such other offices are referred to as branch offices, sub-offices or otherwise.
An estate agent who fails to comply with the above requirements may be subject to disciplinary actions. The requirements are not regarded as being complied with unless the manager of a place of business:
- generally acts in a managerial capacity at the place;
- in particular manages the estate agent’s business at the place; and
- is NOT in control of any other place of business, whether of the same licensed estate agent or of another.
A licensed estate agent may appoint himself or others as manager for this purpose. Section 40 of the Ordinance requires a licensed estate agent to notify the EAA of an appointment or termination of an appointment within 31 days of the appointment or termination. The prescribed form may be downloaded here. More information on the said requirements may be found here.
A manager must hold an estate agent’s licence (individual). Any person who purports to accept such an appointment or purports to act as such manager commits an offence if he does not hold an estate agent’s licence (individual). The maximum penalty is a fine of $150,000 and imprisonment for 6 months.