Tag Archives: Estate agent

Two salespersons disciplined for bypassing landlord’s salesperson

Two salespersons, Goh Seow Guan, Vincent and Chua Say Siong, Eric were disciplined for misleading acts in an attempt to bypass the landlord’s salesperson, bringing disrepute to the estate agency industry.

Goh represented a tenant who was interested in renting a property. He contacted the landlord’s salesperson to arrange for a viewing and agreed to co-broke with him for the potential rental transaction. Later, Goh’s client made an offer which was conveyed to the landlord through her salesperson and the landlord counter-offered. Goh’s client then made another offer to rent the property at $8,500 per month if the landlord was agreeable to pay $1,500 to repair certain defects.

Instead of conveying the offer to the landlord’s salesperson, Goh decided to bypass him and asked his colleague Chua to call the landlord to close the transaction. Chua pretended that he had an interested tenant for the property and conveyed the same offer that Goh’s client had proposed.

Upon reviewing the profile of Chua’s prospective tenant, the landlord became suspicious that this tenant was the same person as Goh’s client. Although Chua denied it when asked, the landlord discovered that the tenant was indeed Goh’s client when she met up with him. The landlord informed her salesperson that he had been bypassed, and the salesperson filed a complaint to Goh’s and Chua’s estate agent.

The estate agent subsequently conducted investigations. When asked, Goh and Chua misrepresented to their director that they had come to know of the prospective tenant independently.

For bypassing the landlord’s salesperson even though having agreed to co-broke and lying to a director of his estate agent, Goh has brought disrepute to the estate agency industry, a breach of the Code of Ethics and Professional Client Care (CEPCC). He was sentenced to a total financial penalty of $3,000 and four months’ suspension, with a two months’ suspension running concurrently.

Chua was convicted of bypassing the landlord’s salesperson, lying to the landlord about the identity of the prospective tenant and lying to a director of his estate agent. He was sentenced to a total financial penalty of $5,000 and four months’ suspension, with another three months’ and two months’ suspension running concurrently.

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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.