Unlicensed estate agent found guilty

On 4 June 2015, Jatinder Singh s/o Gurnam Singh was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment and fined $41,000, in default 164 days’ imprisonment. He was fined for three charges under the Estate Agents Act (EAA) for acting as an unlicensed estate agent on three occasions. He was sentenced to imprisonment for three Penal Code charges – two for criminal breach of trust (CBT) and one for forgery. Four charges of handling transaction monies and three similar Penal Code offences were taken into consideration for sentencing.

For the EAA offences, Jatinder represented tenants in leasing three properties in 2012 – a unit in The Sail@Marina and two HDB units located in Sengkang and East Coast. He collected commission from the tenants of the three lease transactions. Jatinder also handed transaction monies for the two transactions relating to the HDB properties.

For the Penal Code charges, one CBT charge and two forgery charges were related to the lease transaction of The Sail@Marina while another CBT charge was related to the lease transaction of the HDB unit in East Coast. The two remaining CBT charges were not related to the lease transactions in the EAA offences.

Under the EAA, an estate agent must be licensed with CEA before conducting estate agency work in Singapore. Consumers should only engage licensed estate agents and registered salespersons. CEA also advises consumers not to hand transaction monies to salespersons. Salespersons are not allowed to handle transaction monies in the sale or purchase of any property situated in Singapore and the lease of HDB property.

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