Estate Agents: How to get your Essential Services Permit!

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TPN have received confirmation from Shane Brown, the Head of Disaster Management in Port Elizabeth that estate agents can register as an essential service for limited back to work functions.

Disaster Management Act, Regulations
Table 1 Alert Level 4

Part H: Financial and Business Services

2. Essential Financial Services may operate,… only when the operation of a place of business or entity is necessary to continue to perform those services:
    ii. the payments environment

9. Other professional services may operate only where work-from-home is not possible, and only to support other Alert Level 4 services  

In terms of the Directions published on 6 May 2020, which specifically provide for a Permit to Relocate in limited circumstances, estate agents would be required to facilitate the handover of keys as well as incoming and outgoing inspections. 

Click here to read the Permit to Relocate – Key handover and inspections

Question 1: How does an estate agency business register as an essential service provider?

Essential service providers must register their business on CIPC and follow the COVID-19 Essential Services steps. 

Question 2: How does the estate agent obtain a permit?

Please click here to download the: Permit to perform an essential or permitted service

The head of the estate agency business should provide the estate agent with the Permit to perform an essential service, this Permit should be signed and stamped by the principal or head of the business.

Question 3: What are the employers responsibilities towards their employees?
  • Where employees come into contact with members of the public, employers must provide their employees with face masks
  • Restrictions on face-to-face meetings
  • Special measures for employees with known health or comorbidity conditions
  • Special measures for employees above the age of 60
  • Provide a designated COVID-19 compliance officer
  • Develop and implement a phased return to work plan

This is not a back to work as usual just yet, registering as an essential service provider is limited to “only providing support to other Alert Level 4 services, where work-from-home is not possible”.

TPN recommends that where the estate agent is traveling for the purpose of key handover or inspections that they should have a copy of their identity, permit to perform an essential service and a copy of the tenant’s permit to relocate.

Michelle Dickens
MD of TPN Credit Bureau

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  1. I am a Real Estate Photographer and over 60. Also Essential Services to the Agent to list his mandate on the web with photographs of the property. Nobody mention Real Estate photographers rights, do I qualify as Essential Services Permit and to travel to the property.
    Thanks IBphotography.

  2. I am an estate agent with an Essential Services permit to service my tenant's .

    I do have a family moving into a rental property soon. The estate does not allow me to bring in a domestic worker to clean and sanitize the house for handover.

    What is my rights - does my permit overrule the estate's approach?


    1. Thanks for the question. Cleaning cannot take place at the moment, the tenants will have to take the property as it is. Only cleaning and repairs that are an emergency are permitted at Alert Level 4.

  3. Good day. I have a question not covered in this blog and think it is relevant. Once an estate agent have the required documents to return to work (CIPC and permit), how do they, as a single parent with toddlers, get a permit for their domestic worker (not a registered caregiver) to look after their kids while they are out working?

    1. Hello! The regulations allow for a domestic worker who is live-in only at this time and there is no permit that is required.