HOW TO DEAL WITH UNSCRUPULOUS AGENTS
How do you deal with unscrupulous agents ?
In Malaysia, one has to be registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisals and Estate Agents (BOVEA) in order to legally carry out estate agency practice. Once registered and given an authority to practice by way of an official Certificate, a registered estate agent is regulated by the Board of Valuers, Appraisals & Estate Agents
Act 1981, the Rules 1986 and The Standards. The objectives of The Act, the Rules and The Standards are to ensure that all registered estate agents to conduct their estate agency practice in an ethical and professional manner whereby the image of the profession will be upheld at the highest level and the interests of the general public will be protected.
But, there are certain cases where the agents are so-called ‘unscrupulous’, in which these kind of agents are those who “pretend” to be an agent, when they are not. Property Insight talks to a few real estate principals to find out more about unscrupulous agents.
WHO ARE UNSCRUPULOUS AGENTS?
Unscrupulous agents are those who conduct their estate agency practice in breach of the provisions of the Board of Valuers, Appraisals & Estate Agents Act 1981, the Board of Valuers, Appraisals & Estate Agents Rules 1986 and the standard of practice set out in The Malaysian Estate Agency Standards, with total disregard to the interests of their client for their own selfish gains.
“In my opinion, the bulk of these unscrupulous agents are made up of persons who are practicing estate agency business without the authority from the BOVAEA,” Property Hub resident manager Wan Choy Heng explains. “These people are commonly referred to as “illegal brokers”. Unsuspecting public engaging the services of these illegal brokers run the risk of being left high and dry in the event of a dispute in the middle of a transaction,” he says.
These illegal brokers very often will disappear without a trace in the event of a dispute, sometimes together with earnest deposit, leaving behind both the vendor and the purchaser helpless with no recourse because the business operations of these illegal brokers are not authorised by the BOVAEA, according to Wan.
Because of their illegal status of business operation, unscrupulous agents are being irresponsible putting their client’s interest at risk in the event of a legal dispute during the process of a property transaction. In pursue of their selfish gains in the expense of their client’s interest is a gross breach of ethic in any business sense, Wan says. Fong Wai Choon, director of Reapfield Properties (Hartamas), agrees. “With effective from 1 June 2014, all negotiators will also need to register with the Board via their companies they work with and they will be issued an Authority to Practise Tag after undergoing the necessary training.
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