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Frequently asked questions and answers

1. How can educational qualification be proved?

The original or a true copy certified by a solicitor of the certificate of completion of Form 5 (or levels above) issued by a local school / educational institution registered with the Hong Kong Education Bureau should be submitted together with the application form for inspection at EAA. EAA considers a Form 5 curriculum to include languages, mathematics and other subjects.

Alternatively, the applicant may provide the original or a copy certified by a practising solicitor in Hong Kong of one of the following documents:

a. Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (with passes in 5 different subjects); or
b. Certificate showing the completion of an undergraduate or postgraduate program issued by a local tertiary educational institution.

Click here for more information.


2. If an applicant can only provide a certificate issued by an English tutorial school showing one subject passed, does EAA consider the applicant to have the required educational qualification?

The Estate Agents Ordinance requires licensees to have completed an educational level of Form 5 of secondary education or its equivalent. EAA considers a Form 5 curriculum to include languages, mathematics and other subjects. EAA will not accept a certificate issued by English tutorial schools showing only one subject passed as proof of attainment of the required educational qualification.


3. When will qualifying examinations take place?

Qualifying examinations are administered by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority. Click here to see the schedule and registration details of upcoming examinations.


4. Will there be a refund if the licence application is unsuccessful?

If an application is unsuccessful, any fees paid will be refunded. Click here to see EAA's refund and cancellation policy.


5. When should I apply for licence renewal?

An application for the renewal of a licence must be made not more than three months and not less than one month before the expiry of the licence.

Application forms for the renewal of licences may be downloaded from this website. More information about licence renewal may be found here.


6. How will my personal data be used?

The personal data provided by an applicant and any other relevant person in an application for licence will be used for the following purposes:

a. processing the application;
b. enforcing or complying with the provisions of the Estate Agents Ordinance;
c. providing appropriate training.
 
EAA may verify the data from other sources. The personal data provided by an applicant may be disclosed to government departments and relevant authorities (including the Hong Kong Police and the ICAC) for the purposes mentioned above. Click here for the relevant Personal Information Collection Statement.
 
Pursuant to section 13 of the Ordinance, EAA maintains a register for the purposes of the Ordinance. The Register contains certain data of persons having been granted a licence. The Register is available free of charge for public inspection at the EAA office. Click here for more details about the Register.


7. Where should enquiries be made?

All enquiries concerning licensing matters may be made to the EAA hotline at 2111 2777 (press 2, 2 after selecting language).


8. Can I carry out estate agency work immediately after obtaining an estate agent licence (individual)?

You may act as a salesperson for any licensed estate agent immediately after obtaining an estate agent’s licence (individual).

If you want to carry on the business of doing estate agency work as an estate agent, whether by yourself or as a member of a partnership, you must apply for a statement of particulars of business (SPOB) from the EAA.

The Estate Agents (Licensing) Regulation stipulates that holders of an estate agent’s licence (individual) must apply for an SPOB for each place of business under each business name before carrying out estate agency work. The SPOB must be displayed conspicuously at the place of business.


9. I have changed my name. Am I required to inform the EAA?

A licensed estate agent or a licensed salesperson commits an offence if he, without reasonable excuse, uses any name other than the name specified in his licence for or in connection with an estate agency business. The maximum penalty is a fine of $100,000 and 3 months imprisonment. You should therefore have your licence and/or statement of particulars of business amended as soon as possible. Click here for the relevant application form.


10. If I have left the profession, can I apply to be licensed again later?

Former licence holders re-applying for the same type of licence within the "relevant period" as defined in the Estate Agents Ordinance will be granted a licence if they still fulfil the fit and proper requirement. However, if applications are submitted outside the "relevant period", they will be approved only if the applicants meet all the requirements, including passing the relevant qualifying examination in the 12 months immediately prior to the application.

The "relevant period" is within 24 months from the date on which the licence ceased to be valid or was suspended (more details may be found here or under section 7(4E) of the Estate Agents (Licensing) Regulation).  For example, if a licence expired on 31 December 2011, then the relevant period started from 1 January 2012 and will end on 31 December 2013.


11. Can I switch from one type of licence to another?

The holder of a current estate agent's licence (individual) may apply for a salesperson's licence without fulfilling the qualifying examination and educational requirement.

The holder of a current salesperson's licence may apply for an estate agent's licence (individual) provided that he has passed the qualifying examination for estate agents. In the case of a "senior practitioner" (see definition below) holding a current salesperson's licence, he may also apply for an estate agent's licence (individual) if he has completed a training course for estate agents on or before 31 December 2001.

Any fees paid after a licence has been granted cannot be refunded, nor can they be used to pay for the licence fee of another type of licence.

"Senior practitioners" refer to those persons who had done estate agency work in Hong Kong for at least six years within the period of seven years immediately before the implementation of the licensing regime on 1 January 1999.


12. How is the 12-month validity period of a qualifying examination computed for the purpose of applying for a licence?

Among the requirements for a salesperson's licence or an estate agent's licence (individual) is the passing of the relevant qualifying examination within a period of 12 months immediately before the date of the licence application.  For this purpose, the date appearing on the examination result slip is used.  For example, if the date appearing on the result slip is 1 January 2011, then the licence application must be made on or before 1 January 2012.  Click here for more information.
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