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Press Release: REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS SAY NO TO ILLEGAL BROKERS UNDER THE TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION GUISE

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Joint Press Statement by RISM, PEPS, PEHAM, MIPFM and MIEA

RE: REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATIONS SAY NO TO ILLEGALBROKERSUNDER THE TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION GUISE

We collectively wish to caution members of the public to deal only with Real Estate Agents and Firms registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP) when engaging any person or persons to carry out real estate services which include selling, buying, renting, leasing, tenancy administration and advisory services. 

This is a reminder that there are people who are not estate agents but who are really operating estate agency business illegally, and using many forms of creative ideas to do so. Real Estate service is gazetted as a “professional service” under the Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act 242, 1981, to protect the public.

It is also to ensure that if anyone other than those registered carries out the work as an agent in any form or shape or manner, they will be committing an offence and can be charged in court with a fine of not more than RM300,000.00 and imprisonment for not more than three years or both. 

While this is the law, many have found the work of an agent ‘lucrative’ and have ‘jumped’ into provide real estate service. This then defeats the purpose of an Act of Parliament which is designed primarily to protect public interest and to detail out the professional obligations of what an Estate Agent should and should not do within the ambit of the law. 

The process to be registered as a Real Estate Agent and to register a Real Estatefirmgoesthrough a rigorous process to ensure compliance of law. Real Estate Agents takeaminimumof FOUR years to be registered after exams and practical training before settingupReal Estate firms.

Real Estate Negotiators (RENs) are salespeople employed by registeredfirmsafter completing a Negotiators Certification Course and is issued with a RENtagwhoareunder the direct supervision of a Registered Estate Agent. Any wrong doingof thesalesperson (REN) will render the REA responsible and accountable and as theregulatingbody BOVAEP will take the necessary action. 

Before anyone engages any individuals or firms to represent them find out whether they are registered. The process is simple: 

1. Visit http://search.lppeh.gov.my; 

2. Key in the Firm name under Search for Firm; or 

3. Key in the Agent’s Name under Member if he or she is a REA or PEA; and if a REN do a Negotiator Search; 

4. It will show whether they are registered with the board and the firm they are representing. 

The profession is relatively young and are regulated by BOVAEP, the purpose is to protect the public against unethical practices. As in many other professions, there may or has had bad apples, hence, all ‘bad apples’ are or will be dealt with by the BOVAEP when complaints are made by the public against such individuals and disciplinary action can and will be taken including but not limited to the suspension of his or her practice.

This allows the public to have recourse and remedy through the board against agents who infringe the Act, Rules or the standards. 

Traditionally, the illegal brokers are individuals in the Kampung or the city who acts as an intermediary to introduce buyers or sellers. Today, the profession has matured and organized firms are providing excellent services to the community.

It is under these situations that various setups appear under the guise of providing other services but indirectly carrying out real estate services. They call themselves financial consulting firms, tech firms, project marketing firms etc., with technology behind them.

Today, they not only do the work illegally but are challenging Act 242 openly and questioning the validity of what the government expects the professionals to do and directly undermines the sanctity of the Real Estate Profession. 

As National Associations representing the various disciplines under the Act, we cannot watch and see the eroding of this moral, legal and fiduciary responsibilities by illegal brokers which undermines our work as registered practitioners.

We also have a moral duty to protect the profession and kindly request the authorities to do what is necessary to check the growing menace of illegals and the impact they are having on the profession and the public.

The public should also be discerning to check the validity of the practitioner before engaging them and not to pay any fees (as provided by the law) if they are found not to be registered and make formal complaints to BOVAEP if they have been misled. 

In conclusion, it is important to state that we are not against innovations and technology, but we want to reinforce our stand that we cannot condone anyone, either individuals or companies in any form or shape who do not comply to existing laws of the land where it fits as far as Real Estate Agency practice is concerned. 

Date : 7 Sep 2021

Click here for the full press release.

— End of press release —

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