2 and 3 June 2021
On 2 and 3 June 2021, about 300 Key Executive Officers (KEO) and representatives from the real estate agency industry associations attended the briefings on the Estate Agents Act (EAA) Amendments. The amendments to the EAA aim to
- better deter real estate salespersons (RESs) and estate agents (EAs) from committing disciplinary breaches,
- update the regulatory framework to keep abreast of technology advancements, and
- align Singapore’s levers against money laundering and terrorism financing with international standards.
Key amendments to the Estate Agents Act
- The amended EAA will enable CEA to send a stronger deterrence signal to the minority of errant RESs and EAs in the industry, to ensure that the ongoing efforts of the majority who consistently uphold high professional standards are not negated. This serves to reduce the number of complaints against RESs and EAs, further enhance the professional image of the industry and maintain consumer trust and confidence.
- The financial penalties imposed by the Disciplinary Committee will increase from $75,000 to $200,000 per case for EAs, and $100,000 per case for RESs.
- CEA will implement a new Letter of Censure (LOC) disciplinary regime to tackle minor disciplinary breaches. Under the regime, CEA can issue a LOC with or without a financial penalty of up to $5,000 per case, to enable more effective and timely resolution of minor disciplinary breaches.
- Financial penalties and LOCs imposed by CEA will be published on the CEA Public Register.
- CEA can require attendance by any person before a CEA inspector to give statements, and furnish documents and electronic devices that can be inspected, copied or extracted for investigations involving disciplinary breaches.
- CEA can conduct document inspections electronically, and at premises under CEA’s control, other than the EAs’ offices.
- CEA will be able to serve documents through electronic means, such as email.
- The duties of EAs and RESs on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing will be elevated to duties under the EAA amendments, as per the recommendations by the Financial Action Task Force. EAs and RESs will have to continue to:
- conduct customer due diligence checks,
- report any suspicious transactions to the Suspicious Transaction Reporting Office, and
- keep records of the due diligence checks, which CEA may inspect.
- CEA will inform KEOs and RESs of the operationalisation of the amendments to the EAA via an industry notice at a later date.
Presented at CEA’s briefings on 2 and 3 June 2021
CEA’s briefing on the Key Changes to the Estate Agents Act (PDF,1.27MB)