Property company, director fined $215,000 for unlicensed work

Romesh Navaratnarajah22 Dec 2016

This is the largest fine handed down by the court for this offence.

A property management company and its sole director have been fined a total of $215,000 for conducting unlicensed estate agency work, the largest fine ever meted out by the court for this offence, the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) said in a statement.

Franks Property and its sole director and shareholder, Lim Koon Heng, 70, previously held a House Agent Licence issued by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

After the CEA’s formation in October 2010, all property agencies and agents were required to be licensed and registered with the CEA before they could carry out estate agency work. However, Franks Property and Lim did not do so.

Despite their failure to register with the CEA, Franks Property carried out three sale and purchase property transactions between 2012 and 2013.

Under the Estate Agents Act (Cap. 95A), an officer of a company may be guilty of the same offence committed by the company if the offence was committed with the officer’s consent.

Lim signed off on the invoices issued for all three transactions, which involved the $8.02 million sale of a home at Vanda Drive, the $7.5 million sale of a shophouse at Smith Street, and the $1.02 million sale of a unit in Far East Shopping Centre.

For these transactions, Lim and Franks Property received a total commission of $94,976.64.

“This is the highest amount of commission collected among the unlicensed estate agency work cases that the CEA has prosecuted,” it noted.

For the purpose of sentencing, the court also considered six other charges filed against Lim and Franks Property.

Franks Property was fined $115,000, while Lim was slapped with a $100,000 fine, in default of 32 weeks’ imprisonment.

Under Section 28(1)(b) of the Estate Agents Act, the punishment for each offence is a fine not exceeding $75,000, or imprisonment of not more than three years or both.

“In the case of a continuing offence, there may be a further fine not exceeding $7,500 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction,” added the CEA.

With this, the CEA advises consumers to engage only property agencies and agents who are licensed and registered with them. They can verify whether an entity or individual is licensed or registered via the public register on the CEA website.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email


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