Photo of naked flat owner in property ad gives him more attention than he asked for

Eagle-eyed buyers noticed a man's naked body in one of the photographs for the Choa Chu Kang mansionette.
Eagle-eyed buyers noticed a man's naked body in one of the photographs for the Choa Chu Kang mansionette.PHOTO: SCREENSHOT FROM PROPERTYGURU.COM.SG

SINGAPORE - An advertisement for a Choa Chu Kang mansionette has inadvertently revealed more than its owners wanted. It has also prompted the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA), which regulates the real estate agency industry here, to look into the matter.

On Tuesday (March 6), eagle-eyed buyers noticed that one of the photographs for the 143 sq m HDB apartment stood out: In one of the bedrooms, a man's naked body - though not his face - can be clearly seen in a mirror.

The advertisement was posted on more than one property listing portal. The CEA has been drawn into the affair and is looking into it. According to its code of ethics, estate agents must conduct their work with due diligence and in compliance with all laws.

Property agent Benson Han, who is marketing the 12-year-old apartment for $570,000, told The Straits Times on Wednesday that the offending photo was one of a few that the owner had passed him over WhatsApp during the Chinese New Year period last month.

"He had just done some spring cleaning, and I guess while he was cooling off, he decided it was a good time to take some better photos of the place," he said, adding that the flat has been on the market for about five months.

"Because (the photo) was so small, I didn't notice it," he added.

While the advertisement with its latest set of photos has been up for about a month, it was only on Tuesday that it caught the attention of some netizens.

Mr Han said he asked his colleagues to take down the ad from portals like PropertyGuru and 99co as soon as he informed the owner about the situation.

"He was shocked, it was clearly unintentional," he said. "Who on earth would post a naked photo?"

His colleague, Ms Angeline Liang, was just as adamant that it was a mistake. Neither had been in a similar situation in their 20 and 10 years as an agent respectively.

But Ms Liang noted that among the many notifications she has received about the naked photograph since, "quite a few" were circulating the photograph for their own amusement.

She said: "It's not very nice to send such photos."

Those found guilty of transmitting an obscene object can be jailed for up to three months and/or fined.