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Can your agent handle $$$?

Did you just hand your HDB monthly rental payments or down payment for a new house to your agent?

Stop! You will get your agent into trouble!

Did you know that for the buying and selling of properties situated in Singapore, property agents are not allowed to handle monies related to the transaction? Similarly, they cannot handle monies in the lease of HDB properties. It is a serious offence and they can be prosecuted in Court.

What are the monies in a property transaction that agents can handle?

Remember: You should only pay commission due to your property agent after he has completed his duties.

Why aren’t agents allowed to handle certain monies?

While most agents are honest, there have been cases where agents have misused monies for their own purposes, landing their clients in a sticky situation.

Recently in September, former property agent Goh Chung Yong was charged and sentenced to a $10,000 fine for handling $93,000 of transaction monies.

His client had passed him the monies, trusting him to pay the conveyancing lawyers handling a new flat purchase. However, Goh used the money to pay off loan sharks and lied that the money had been stolen from his car.

Take charge of monies related to your property transaction!

We thus strongly encourage all consumers to take ownership of handling of monies related to your property transaction.

While it may be more convenient to get your agent to handle your monthly rentals for your HDB flat with your landlord or the proceeds from your property transaction, you are not only putting your agent in a spot but also potentially compromising your interests. 

As consumers, you too, have an important role to play in ensuring that property transactions are concluded smoothly. 

Tips on handling monies

Here are some tips on handling monies to protect yourself and prevent disputes:

  • Make payments via verifiable means such as crossed cheques that are payable to the payee, and bank transfers.
  • If you have to make payments in cash, make sure the other party in the transaction acknowledges the receipt in verifiable forms. For example, it could be an SMS or email stating the amount received, who it is from, the purpose of the payment, and the date that the transaction occurred.
  • If you are a tenant, pay rentals on a monthly basis rather than on a lump sum basis.
  • Do not pass the payments to a third party.
  • Firmly say “No” to your agent if he suggests to help handle your monies.

Check out our consumer guide for more information.