Senator Allison DeGazon to update Real Estate Laws
Updated: Aug 19
In an effort to protect consumers and local realtors, Sen. Allison L. DeGazon is providing legislation to update the Territory’s real estate statutes that have not been significantly updated in 58 years.
Real estate is one of the most important sectors of the local economy. In addition to being critical to families, it impacts numerous job markets including engineering, construction, and hospitality. The affordability of real estate, rental prices and changes in those prices have a direct impact on the wealth of property owners and tenants and on their consumer spending.
“The effectiveness and fairness of our laws and rules that determine how real property may be purchased, sold, leased, or managed are of great importance to the consumers and citizens of the Virgin Islands,” DeGazon said.
Bill No. 33-0350 is an Act amending title 27 Virgin Islands Code, chapter 15 and addresses a range of issues relating to the classification of real estate brokers and salespersons and the procedures for obtaining licensure to sell, lease or manage real property. Senator DeGazon and her staff have met with realtors, regulators at the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs, and consumers in order to ensure that Bill No. 33-0350 is both effective in modernizing our statutes and fair to all stakeholders involved. Of particular importance to Senator DeGazon are the consumers and average citizens who utilize the services of real estate professionals in order to acquire their most important assets. Another key area of concern is ensuring that there remains a strong pathway for interested Virgin Islanders to become real estate agents.
After the circulation of an initial draft, Senator DeGazon is currently finalizing significant revisions to the Bill that will strengthen consumer protections and address the problems with the current law that have led to concern both among local realtors and our hard-working regulators. The revised bill will be presented to her colleagues in the Legislature and the general public in the coming days.
“When I saw the positives and negatives, I was eager to work on it to ensure our local realtors would be taken care of,” DeGazon said, and has invited the realtor community to provide more input. “The real estate statutes need updating, consumers need more protection and local realtors must be protected. That is and has always been the intent of this proposed legislation.”
The new bill will be revised as an amendment in the nature of a substitute, with changes that reflect the valuable feedback she has and continues to receive on this important bill.
The measure has been scheduled to be heard before the Committee on Economic Development, Regulations and Agriculture on Friday, August 28th, 2020 however due to the recent stay at home order issued by Governor Bryan the meeting may be postponed.
Public input and participation is paramount said DeGazon.
The senator will be hosting a working session for interested parties. For more information, residents can email the senator at firstname.lastname@example.org.