No More Business With Unregistered Real Estate Agencies

It's a grim reality that a myriad of real estate transactions is still being performed outside the supervision of the authorities. Every day, a significant fraction of people leave their homes to settle in the megacities for improved livelihoods. They live in rented houses and pay hefty amounts as rent every month. After years of hard work, those migrants direct their transportations to the housing schemes to buy their own homes. They book their plots, hand over burdensome instalments, but when it comes to obtaining possession of their desired property, a large majority of the general folk receives nothing but disappointment.

Moreover, real estate is one of the largest undocumented sectors of the economy; regulating it is a daunting task but mandatory to meet a necessary condition of the 27-point FATF action plan to curb the menaces like money laundering and terrorism financing. Right now, the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) has agreed with all such private and public development authorities that no more business transactions will be carried out with unregistered housing schemes and real estate developers from the 1st of January 2022.

So far, only 500,000 realtors and builders have registered their enterprises with the FBR to comply with the FATF-related condition. In the market, there prevails a strong resistance from the majority of real estate stakeholders who consider it profitable to work in the absence of a legal nose.

The past days of poor official oversight have gone; now, no more business will be allowed to conduct with unregistered real estate agencies. At present, real estate is obliged to register under the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Act. Registration as FBR Designated Non-Financial Business and Profession (DNFBP) is mandatory for all real estate agents and property dealers. It has been made compulsory for them to obtain a registration certificate from the concerned director of FBR. "In case of violation, action will be taken under Anti-Money Laundering Act 2010 and Anti-Terrorism Rules 2020," the FBR declares.

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