A 45-year-old man became the first person found guilty of pretending to be a real estate agent, without being registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA).
Tan Cher Peng was sentenced to four months in jail and a fine of S$32,000 for five charges of violating the Estate Agents Act, as well as another count of forgery.
Tan had first applied to register as a sales agent in December 2010. However, his application was rejected when it was found out that he was wanted by the police and had a history of past convictions, including criminal breach of trust and cheating.
An AsiaOne article dated 2 June 2011 reported that Tan advertised 27 properties on an online property portal under his name. He also represented himself as an agent for real estate firm Wallingtons International in the ads.
Furthermore, he negotiated with clients over property leases on two separate occasions and conducted showroom visits. He also handed out name cards to two clients and notified one of them that a Club Street property was available for rent.
As of 1 January 2011, anyone doing estate agency work must be duly registered with the CEA and have obtained written agreements with their estate agent.
Meanwhile, PropertyGuru continues to ensure that all its agent members adhere to the strict advertising guidelines set out by the CEA.