Dodging Disaster in the Realty Industry

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Updated: December 21, 2016

The Association of Real Estate Brokers of Belize called an emergency meeting with its members today. The meeting was prompted by a set of regulations that the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Central Bank began enforcing in November of this year. These regulations have caused much delay in business transactions between realtors and their customers. President of the Association, Hugo Moguel, explained why members are concerned.

HUGO MOGUEL

“We’ve had meetings with the Central Bank. It really has to do with Foreign Exchange, with permits for non residents purchasing or selling property here in Belize and this has always been the law. The issue is how it has been enforced. We got a sudden notice from the Ministry of Natural Resources which the Central Bank has since addressed and has met with us. I think they needed to know as well that the door has been opened for our discussions and working with them in really bringing more structure into the regulations in place right now in order not to harm the industry. Fortunately it has created a shock. This is our peak season. This is when things need to run as smoothly as they can. Unfortunately that’s not the case.”

LOCAL REPORTER

“When did you receive that notice from lands?”

HUGO MOGUEL

“It came the end of November and it was effective immediately. So transactions involving nonresidents to residents required the approval of the Central Bank. That has always been the law, compliance has been a different thing. So now  in order to get your transfer of title effected you need to include that approval. Now the approval has its requirements. Our issue is the time it takes to get that approval because the entire closing process will be dependent on that approval. Working with them, fine tuning it, getting the requirements squared away, having a realistic approach to this thing is what will present us from having a disaster in our industry.”

Moguel says the association is willing to work with all entities to rectify the matter.