Under CEA rules, it is an offence for someone to act as an agent in any property transaction if they are not registered or licensed. (Photo: CEA)
A 36-year-old man was fined $71,500 on Wednesday (18 Apr) after pleading guilty to eight charges of posing as a property agent without being registered with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). If he can’t pay the fine, he will be jailed for 25 weeks.
Under the Estate Agents Act (EAA), it is an offence for entities or individuals to act as agents in any property transaction if they are not licensed or registered with CEA.
More: Lawyer Fined $10,000 For Failure To Report Suspicious Property Transaction
Between November 2011 and April 2015, Raymond Chng worked as an agent with Dennis Wee Realty (DWR), but was fired after being convicted and jailed for a road rage incident.
Despite his termination, Chng continued to pose as an agent with DWR when he facilitated the closing of a lease transaction for an apartment at Spottiswoode Park in October 2015. He collected a commission of $1,450 for the transaction.
He also posted seven advertisements on an online property portal for the sale of HDB and private properties between May and August 2015.
All advertisements included his name, mobile number, photograph, previous CEA registration number, DWR’s CEA licence number, designation in DWR and DWR’s logo.
During sentencing, the Court also took into account 26 other similar charges.
In a statement, CEA noted that the “punishment for an offence under Section 29(1)(a) of the EAA is a fine not exceeding $25,000, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or both”.
Consumers who opt to have estate agents help them in their property purchases are advised to only engage property agencies and agents who are licensed and registered with CEA.
Read the full press release here.
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Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email email@example.com