Under the Estate Agents Act, salespersons are not allowed to handle transaction monies for or on behalf of any party in the sale or purchase of any property situated in Singapore; and lease of HDB properties.
Examples of transaction monies:
- Sale and purchase transaction – option fee, downpayment, stamp duties, deposits and sales proceeds
- Lease transaction – rental deposits, monthly rentals and stamp duties.
- Valuation fees and commissions are not transaction monies.
In the first half of 2013, CEA had charged two salespersons for handling transaction monies. Nangoi Demelza Carmelita was charged for handling transaction money for landlord and tenant. She received cash, being two months rental deposit and one month’s rent, from one of the sub-tenants on behalf of the lessee of a 2-room HDB rental flat. Similarly, she also received deposits and advance rental in cash from the tenants for two more HDB flat transactions that she facilitated.
The second case involved Mustafa Kamal Bin Seri for handling money for his clients in relation to the sale of their four-room HDB flat and the purchase of their three-room HDB flat.
Consumers are advised not to hand transaction monies to their salespersons. They should avoid using cash and to pay the rental deposit and rents directly to the landlord by crossed cheque or other verifiable means.
Source : CEA