Licence expiry and renewal
Licence expiry or ceasing to have effect
A licence expires on the date specified in the licence. The expiry date may also be ascertained from the Register and the Licence List. In addition to expiry, a licence may cease to be valid if it is suspended or revoked. Practising estate agency work without a licence is a criminal offence punishable by a maximum penalty of 2 years of imprisonment and a fine of $500,000.
Apply for renewal of licence
To renew a licence, a licensee must make an application no earlier than 3 months and no later than 1 month prior to the expiration of the licence (“the period”). For example, if a licence expires on 31 December, then the application must be made in the period from 1 October to 30 November (both dates inclusive) of the same year. Renewal applications made before the period will be rejected. Those who make a renewal application after the period may not be able to have their licence renewed promptly in which case they must suspend doing estate agency work after the expiry of their licences until and unless a new licence is granted or else they may commit a criminal offence.
Re-apply for grant of licence
Once a licence has expired, the former licensee may re-apply for the grant of a licence. Certain former holders of individual licences may be exempted from the educational and qualifying examination requirements for granting a licence. To qualify for the exemption, an individual must: (a) have held a licence before; (b) re-apply for licence within the relevant period (see below); and (c) re-apply for the same type of licence or have held an estate agent’s licence (individual) and re-apply for a salesperson’s licence. 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).
If a former licensee’s application forms and licence fees cannot be received by the EAA within the “24-month period” for whatever reason (e.g. delay in mail, cheque cannot be cashed, or problems encountered during online application or online payment, etc.), he/she will not be qualified for the exemption from the qualifying examination and educational requirements. Therefore, regardless which application method is to be used, applicants are advised NOT to submit their licence applications in the last few days of the “24-month period”.
For individual licence applications that 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.
Submission of licence application
(1) By mail or by hand
- Applicants may submit the duly signed and completed application forms, together with the relevant licence fee, to the EAA by mail or by hand (either in person or by a representative). For applications submitted in person (or by a representative), please make an appointment through the EAA online appointment booking system.
(2) Online (Applicable to individual licences only)
- Applicants of individual licences may submit their applications online through the e-service of the EAA's website. For details, please click here.
Application forms may be downloaded from this website or obtained from the EAA office (Address: Room 2601, 26/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen's Road East, Wanchai, Hong Kong). As application forms may be revised from time to time, only the latest version of the forms should be used or else extra processing time may be required.
Those who have provided an e-mail address will be kept informed of the progress of the application. An e-mail will be sent to the applicant:
after the application is received;
after the application is approved;
after the licence has been sent to the applicant or when the licence is ready for pick-up (depending on the choice which the applicant indicates in the application form).
The EAA’s performance pledges for processing licence applications are as follows:
Process applications for the grant of a licence or a statement of particulars of business
Within 10 working days*
Process applications for the renewal of a licence or a statement of particulars of business
Within 20 working days*
Click here to know more about the EAA’s performance pledges.
Licensees whose licences are attached with conditions should renew their licences promptly as it may take longer to process such applications.
* From the next day following the receipt of the application, the required fee and documents to the day the licence/statement of particulars of business is issued (ie. the day the licence is available for collection). This service target does not apply to applications which require the EAA Licensing Committee to determine whether the applicant fulfils the "fit and proper" requirements or other licensing requirements as prescribed under the Estate Agents Ordinance. A longer duration is needed for such cases for the EAA to make enquiries and for the applicant or any third party (such as the Official Receiver's Office, trustees-in-bankruptcy or the Police) to respond before EAA approves or rejects the application.