Lim Beng Kwang (48 years old, Singaporean male) was sentenced to a fine of $6,000 for holding himself out as a salesperson without being registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), an offence under the Estate Agents Act. Another count of his doing estate agency business without a licence was taken into consideration.
About the Case
CEA uncovered Lim’s offences when it investigated a complaint made against him for rude and unprofessional service. In January to April 2011, Lim had advertised several HDB flats for rental on an online property portal under his name, using a mobile number which was loaned to him by an Australian friend.
Lim had wanted to help a flat owner rent out a room in the owner’s flat in return for commission payment but was found out by CEA and prosecuted before he could successfully do so. Lim was found conducting a HDB flat viewing on behalf of the owner and he sought to interest some potential tenants to rent the room. He marketed the room to the potential tenants and discussed with them the rental and commission to be paid.
Lim is the third unregistered salesperson to be sentenced under the Act this year. CEA will be prosecuting several more persons for doing estate agency work without being registered over the next few months.
Advice for Consumers
Property owners who intend to rent out their properties are advised to check CEA’s Public Register of Estate Agents and Salespersons at http://www.cea.gov.sg for the identity and registration number of the salesperson whom they are engaging. As Lim was not registered, his record would not be found if a search was done on the Public Register using his mobile number.
Consumers should only engage salespersons who are registered with CEA. They are advised to request for the salesperson’s registration number, and verify that the salesperson is listed on CEA’s Public Register before engaging his or her services. The Public Register has been enhanced to allow consumers to search the particulars of a salesperson, using the salesperson’s mobile number. This is in addition to search options using the salesperson’s name or registration number.
Consumers are also advised not to respond to any real estate agency flyer, leaflet or advertisement that does not provide a salesperson’s details or registration number.
Consumers should report to CEA when they encounter any person not listed on the Public Register but carrying out estate agency work illegally. They can report the person to the CEA at 1800-6432555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source : CEA 2012 Jun 22