No licence, but man worked as estate agent

A Singaporeanhelped prospective renters lease homes or renew leases even though he was not a licensed agent or registered to work for an agency.

Shakir Khan, 56, was charged yesterday with five counts under the Estate Agents Act - three for acting as a property agent without first being licensed by the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), and two for presenting himself as a sales executive for a licensed estate agency without being registered.

According to the CEA, Shakir facilitated the closing of a lease transaction for a Housing Board flat in Kallang around May 2012. He arranged for the tenant to view the flat and prepared the Letter of Intent using the HSR International Realtors letterhead, even though he was not an agent with the firm.

On two other occasions, in 2011 and 2012, he assisted a tenant in renewing his lease on a HDB flat in Bedok, collecting $2,600 in commission. Around September 2012, he acted on behalf of the same tenant to arrange for a viewing and prospective lease of a Pasir Ris flat. The transaction did not go through when the landlord's agent discovered that Shakir was not a HSR agent or CEA-registered.

Then, between January and February this year, Shakir helped another tenant rent a flat in Ang Mo Kio and received a commission of $700.

CEA officers began investigating him in 2012 after one of his clients complained, but were unable to locate him. Investigations showed he was put on the wanted persons list by the police in 2006 for cheating offences, but had been on the run.

He was arrested earlier this year after CEA officers found through property advertisements that he could be doing illegal estate agency work.

The CEA said it had prosecuted nine or 10 cases of unlicensed or unregistered estate agency work each financial year since 2013.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 22, 2016, with the headline 'No licence, but man worked as estate agent'. Print Edition | Subscribe