NOV / DEC 2015

Salesperson disciplined for misleading client

A registered salesperson, Amy Puah Gek Kheng, was fined $6,000 and had her registration as a salesperson suspended for six months for conducting estate agency work without being conversant and complying with the applicable Housing and Development Board (HDB) rules, and making misleading representations to her client. She was a salesperson with Dennis Wee Realty Pte Ltd during the time of the offences.

Puah was engaged by her client to assist with the sale of her HDB flat. A prospective buyer made an offer, paid the $1,000 option fee and was granted the Option to Purchase (OTP). However, her client changed her mind and decided not to sell the unit. Subsequently, the buyer initiated a law suit against Puah’s client to force the sale of the property.

Investigation revealed that Puah had conducted estate agency work for the sale of the HDB flat without being conversant and complying with the applicable HDB rules. She misrepresented to her client that there was a cooling-off period of seven days to withdraw from the sale after the OTP was granted, when no such period exists.

Under the Code of Ethics and Professional Client Care, estate agents and salespersons must not mislead the client or provide any false information or misrepresent any relevant law or fact to the client. Estate agents and salespersons must perform their work in accordance with applicable laws. They must not undertake estate agency work, for example in respect of HDB flats, unless they are fully conversant and comply with the applicable laws, regulations, rules and procedures that apply to transactions involving such flats.

A breach of any provision of the Code may result in the imposition of sanctions including financial penalties, demerit points and the suspension or revocation of a licence or registration under the Estate Agents Act.

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