Man fined $72,000 for conducting estate agency work without CEA registration

Lim Ruiwen posted nine advertisements for the rental of Housing Board flats and private properties on public online property portals between January and March 2017 despite being unregistered with the Council for Estate Agencies.
Lim Ruiwen posted nine advertisements for the rental of Housing Board flats and private properties on public online property portals between January and March 2017 despite being unregistered with the Council for Estate Agencies.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A man has been fined $72,000 for conducting estate agency work without being registered as a property agent with the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA).

Lim Ruiwen, 31, was convicted in court on Wednesday (April 3) of nine charges of the offence.

He was fined a total of $72,000, CEA said in a release on Wednesday. If Lim fails to pay the fine, he will be jailed for 27 weeks.

He had posted nine advertisements for the rental of Housing Board flats and private properties on public online property portals between January and March 2017 despite being unregistered with the CEA.

Under the Estate Agents Act, it is an offence for entities and/or individuals to act or hold out as estate agents and/or sales people in any property transaction if they are not licensed or registered with the CEA.

Lim acted as a sales staff for Global Alliance Property Pte Ltd without being registered.

He had been a property agent from January 2011, and was with Global Alliance between Jan 1, 2016, and Dec 31, 2016.

Lim's registration expired after Dec 31, 2016, as he did not submit an application to the CEA through a property agency to renew his registration as a property agent for 2017.

 
 
 

He was also terminated by Global Alliance at the end of 2016, CEA said.

The advertisements that Lim posted included his name, photograph, mobile number, previous CEA registration number, as well as Global Alliance's name and CEA licence.

The court also considered 43 other similar charges during sentencing.

He had posted 43 advertisements on other public property portals to advertise the lease of other HDB flats and private properties.

Each offence carries a fine of up to $25,000, up to 12 months' jail, or both.

CEA on Wednesday advised consumers to engage only licensed and registered property agencies or agents to assist them with their property transactions.

They can verify this via the public register on the CEA website.

Should they encounter anyone performing unlicensed and unregistered estate agency work, they should report the person to the CEA by calling 1800-643-2555 or e-mailing feedback@cea.gov.sg