Estate agents and salespersons who are guilty of unsatisfactory conduct or misconduct or breach the Code of Ethics and Professional Client Care or the Code of Practice set out in the First and Second Schedules respectively of the Estate Agents (Estate Agency Work) Regulations may be subject to disciplinary action before a Disciplinary Committee.
The Disciplinary Committee may upon hearing the action do the following, as the case may be, in respect of a Respondent:
- revoke a licence or registration
- suspend a licence or registration
- impose a financial penalty not exceeding $75,000
- admonish or reprimand the licensee or registered salesperson
- attach or vary conditions to a licence or registration
A Disciplinary Committee comprises at least 3 persons, who are nominated from the disciplinary panel comprising practicing solicitors, architects, engineers or individuals from the real estate industry amongst others.
If a Respondent in a disciplinary case objects to the appointment of any Disciplinary Committee Member, he should immediately lodge his objection with the Secretary to Disciplinary Panel.
A Respondent to disciplinary proceedings may be represented by a solicitor. If the Respondent has instructed a solicitor to represent him, the solicitor shall lodge or receive the necessary disciplinary proceedings documents. The proceedings are not open to the public.
Disciplinary Proceedings Procedure
CEA may commence disciplinary proceedings against a Respondent by lodging a Charge and Statement of Case with the Secretary to the Disciplinary Panel.
The Secretary will then arrange for the Respondent to be served with the Charge and Statement of Case. If the Respondent is a salesperson, the Key Executive Officer of his Estate Agent will be notified of the proceedings.
A Respondent may upon service of the Charge and Statement of Case within the next 14 days either:
(a) File a Defence with the Secretary; or
(b) File an Admission to the Charge(s) with the Secretary.
If the Respondent does not admit to the Charge or file a Defence, the Disciplinary Committee may consider the Charge and Statement of Case as not denied.
After the Respondent files a Defence with the Secretary, CEA may within the next 14 days file a Reply with the Secretary, who will then serve the Reply upon the Respondent. If CEA files a Reply, the Respondent may file a Rejoinder within the 14 days of service of the Reply.
The Respondent shall state the material facts that he relies upon in the Defence or Rejoinder (if any); and may also attach to the Defence or Rejoinder the documents that he wishes to rely upon.
Pre-Hearing Conference and Hearing
The Disciplinary Committee may issue directions in respect of the hearing. This may be done by calling for a Pre-hearing Conference.
If the Respondent requires an interpreter, he shall arrange for a properly qualified interpreter to be present at the hearing at his own cost. The name, business address, email address, contact no. and qualification of the interpreter shall be notified in writing as soon as practicable to the Secretary, and in any event not later than 14 days after the first Pre-hearing Conference or issuance of the pre-hearing directions.
The Respondent will be notified of the hearing date.
If any order is made against the Respondent, the Disciplinary Committee may also order him to pay the Council fixed costs of $1,000.
The Respondent will be informed of the Disciplinary Committee's decision, including any penalties and costs imposed.
Fines and costs decided by the Disciplinary Committee may be paid by submitting a crossed account payee cheque drawn in favor of the "Council for Estate Agencies". The following should be written at the back of the cheque:
(i) "Attn: Secretary to Disciplinary Panel"
(ii) Disciplinary Case number
Lodgment of documents with the Secretary to the Disciplinary Panel
Documents may be lodged with the Secretary to Disciplinary Panel by leaving the Original together with 5 copies (i.e. in total a set of 6 per document) at the following address, for the Attention of "Secretary to Disciplinary Panel".
Council for Estate Agencies
480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh
#13-01 HDB Hub East Wing
Further information on the disciplinary proceedings may be found in the Estate Agents (Disciplinary Proceedings) Regulations and Estate Agents Act.