Bulgaria’s real estate brokerage business is set for a cleanup, with plans to table legislation in Parliament later in 2012 to professionalise the business and drive out rogues and rip-off artists from its ranks.
Currently, the property business in Bulgaria is in the doldrums, a sharp contrast to the heady days of the real estate boom of a few years back – a boom that led a number of unscrupulous operators to seek to take advantage, especially because of the unregulated nature of the business.
The new bill envisages the setting up of a professional association of realtors, along the lines of such associations in other countries which seek to ensure proper professional standards in the real estate business, and to establish a public register of companies and individuals in the real estate sector.
Television station bTV quoted Vassil Lazov, a dissatisfied client in a real estate transaction, as saying that in many cases where customers had received bad service, it was because the real estate agent had behaved inappropriately or was incompetent.
Lazov said that he had bought a plot in the Lyulin residential area of Sofia and had been promised that he would receive the title deed after a month – but instead got it after more than a year and a half.
The Real Estate National Association said that the bill would provide for the introduction of mandatory requirements for qualifications to become real estate agents and brokers.
Businesses in the sector should have legal and financial standing and professional liability insurance so that, in the event of serious negative consequences for the client, compensation would be possible, association president Ivan Velkov said.
The report said that the bill, "consistent with European standards", would be tabled in Parliament by the late summer.