On 21 January 2015, Tan Yang Po, trading as AZEA Personal Coaching (APC), was sentenced to a total fine of $48,000, in default nine weeks’ imprisonment, for acting as an estate agent without a licence from CEA. This is the first prosecution case related to unlicensed estate agency work for the sale of foreign properties.
APC had first advertised to invite the public to attend its free property investment seminar. The seminar participants were then encouraged to enrol in a paid investment course to learn about investment strategies. These participants were awarded membership to a property club of APC.
Tan allegedly informed the property club members that Sterling Camden LLC, a foreign property developer, was selling apartments in USA. Tan facilitated the sale transactions and collected commission from the foreign property developer. For more details, refer to the press release.
CEA would like to advise consumers to engage licensed estate agents and registered salespersons as well as exercise due diligence when buying foreign properties. For tips on buying foreign properties, consumers can refer to the Consumer Guide.
In another case, Tay Say Keat, who was not a licensed estate agent at the material time of the offences, was fined for acting as an estate agent in closing two rental transactions. He was sentenced to a total fine of $28,000, in default 10 weeks’ imprisonment, for the two charges proceeded against him by CEA. Two other charges for similar breaches were taken into consideration for sentencing. It is an offence for any person to act as an estate agent unless he is licensed with CEA.