Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) together with the Institute of Real Property Valuers (IRPV) are engaged in a search for ways to eliminate cases of fraud which stakeholders say could undermine the credibility of the profession.
Didier Giscard Sagashya, the deputy director general lands and mapping department at RNRA said that there had been cases of forgery and under/over valuation of some properties.
“You find the same property will be valued by two people or sometimes the same individual but for some reason the value of that property will defer. This may arise because someone either wants to mortgage the house, to dodge taxes or declare their property to the office of the ombudsman,” Sagashya said during a recent meeting to discuss modalities on how to address the situation.
Professional ethics, evaluation and examination of practicing valuers as well as valuation methods are some of the areas Sagashya highlighted in the meeting.
“It has been three years since the Institute of Real Property Valuers was established and we have noticed that there are some people in the institution with no integrity. So we are looking at how the valuers can be people of integrity and maintain their ethics because we have registered cases of forgery of valuation reports. We have taken a stand to work out an online service system that can help banks and other people to identify which property valuation is genuine or forged,” he added.
Other than fraud, the valuers in attendance decried of valuation fees which they said need to be reviewed by the institution and called for massive sensitisation of the public on valuation procedures for them to avoid forgeries or being duped.
Patrick Sabatigita, the former vice chair board of directors IRPV, said that despite efforts to regulate valuation fees, this has not been respected as by the property valuers with some charging very low rates.
During the same occasion, Egide Gatsirombo was re-elected chairman of the board.
He said that sensitising the public about the profession and fighting fraud will top the agenda of the new board.
The institute is planning to conduct training for valuers in August and October and will evaluate their performance in December with a view of weeding out those that don’t meet the required standards.