Rehabilitation Guidelines

Fit and proper criterion

Under Section 3(2) of the Estate Agents Act 2010 (EAA), a person is not a “fit and proper person” if CEA is of the view that he is not such a person after considering any relevant facts or matters, including any presumptions provided for in Section 3(2).
For example, a person shall not be a “fit and proper person” if, amongst others:

• he has been convicted of an offence involving dishonesty or fraud;
• he has had a judgement entered against him in civil proceedings involving a finding of fraud, dishonesty or breach of fiduciary duties on his part;
• he has been convicted of any offence under the EAA; or
• he is an undischarged bankrupt, in liquidation, or has made a composition or arrangement with his creditors.

The assessment of whether a person is “fit and proper” is not limited to the four aspects listed above. CEA considers all other relevant facts or circumstances that may impact a person’s fitness and propriety to hold a real estate salesperson (RES) registration or estate agent’s (EA) licence. Examples of such other relevant facts or circumstances may include criminal convictions (under the EAA or other laws), civil judgments, or any other enforcement or regulatory action taken by CEA or other regulatory or enforcement bodies, as well as facts or circumstances outside of convictions or legal proceedings. 

If CEA determines that the RES or EA is not “fit and proper”, CEA may take the appropriate regulatory action to revoke or suspend the registration or licence of the RES or EA under Sections 54 and 55 of the EAA, or to reject any renewal for the next registration or licence period.


For persons who are deemed to not be “fit and proper”, rehabilitation is a process for them to reflect, change and improve, so that they do not pose any risk to consumers if they resume any performance of estate agency work. 

For consumer protection, CEA has a duty to ensure that an applicant is fit and proper to be registered as a RES or hold an EA licence. The applicant must fulfil the registration criteria, including being a “fit and proper” person as outlined under Section 3(2) of the EAA. If the applicant is not fit and proper, he would have to demonstrate that he has sufficiently rehabilitated from the circumstances that rendered him to be not “fit and proper” before he can be registered as an RES or be granted an EA licence.

CEA considers the following 3 factors to assess rehabilitation efforts:


  • Passage of time between the conviction or decision date and when an application is received by CEA. A period of time is necessary for the offender to rehabilitate.


  • Scope of rehabilitation efforts. The applicant must take responsibility to rehabilitate and improve himself. Such efforts may include:


  • Voluntarily going for counselling or psychiatric treatment.
  • Taking professional courses to upgrade or improve.
  • Engaging in community service or charitable acts.
  • The applicant shows evidence of remorse. Among others, the period of time where the applicant remains offence-free may be a reflection of remorse.

Please note that the completion of any (or all) of the above does not mean that the applicant has demonstrated sufficient rehabilitation and will automatically fulfil the “fit and proper” criteria. CEA will evaluate all applications for registration in accordance with the prevailing eligibility criteria as well as his rehabilitation efforts as applicable. 


To aid applicants to determine when they may be sufficiently rehabilitated from any offence committed, we provide the illustrations below as general guides to show how CEA treats convictions for purposes of “fit and proper” assessment. Please note that each application received by CEA will be assessed based on its own facts and circumstances.

Examples of offences which involved an indicative rehabilitation period of 12 to 18 months:


  • Offences under Personal Data Protection Act
  • Offences under Protection from Harassment Act

Case Example #1

RES A and RES B were convicted of one charge each under Section 267B of the Penal Code 1871 for committing affray and sentenced to a fine of $3,000 each by the State Courts. They were drunk and had intentionally disturbed public peace by fighting in a group with other persons, outside of conducting estate agency work.

CEA found them to be not fit and proper as the offences involved aggression and showed a lack of self-control in public. The inclination to behave in such manner could reasonably undermine the professionalism and reputation of the industry, in particular the need to safeguard public safety and interest.

CEA rejected both their applications to renew their registrations. 

Examples of offences which may involve an indicative rehabilitation period of 18 to 36 months: 


  • Offences under Estate Agents Act
  • Voluntarily Causing (Grievous) Hurt
  • Cheating or Criminal Breach of Trust

Case Example #2

RES C was convicted of one charge under Section 148(2) of Women’s Charter, two charges under Section 9(1)(d) and one charge under Section 9(1)(a) of Remote Gambling Act 2014. RES C was sentenced to a total fine of $63,000 and 18 months’ imprisonment by the State Courts for these offences.

RES C represented a tenant and found a property in Geylang which the tenant was keen on. The tenant asked RES C to rent the premises on his behalf, claiming he would sublet to work permit holders and would pay him a monthly fee of $1,000 for his assistance. RES C agreed and the tenancy agreement was signed.

Shortly after, the tenant confessed to RES C that he was using the premises as a brothel. RES C did not report this to the authorities and instead renewed the tenancy of the unit for another year for the operation of vice activities within the unit. 

In the course of investigations, RES C was also found to have been involved in illegal remote gambling. The total value of the illegal bets placed was over $1.3 million.   

RES C’s scant regard for the law undermines the professionalism and reputation of the industry, in particular, the need to safeguard public law and order. The offence under the Women’s Charter involved vice and was conducted in the course of estate agency work. In addition, RES C facilitated the exchange of over $1.3 million in illegal bets, which is a considerable sum in relation to his misconduct. 

CEA revoked RES C’s registration after he was convicted and sentenced by the Courts.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does the fit and proper criteria only refer to what is set out in Section 3(2)(a)(i) to (iv) of the EAA?  

No. Sections (3)(2)(a)(i) to (iv) of the EAA provides four presumptions where an individual is deemed by the EAA as being not “fit and proper”. Apart from this list, CEA considers all other relevant facts and matters when determining if an individual is “fit and proper”. 

2. What are the other relevant facts or matters which CEA uses to determine if an individual is fit and proper?

CEA considers the relevance of any offence or misconduct to estate agency work, and if there is any disregard for the law (especially laws related to property transactions). CEA takes a firm stance towards errant property agents regardless of whether the offence is committed in a professional or personal capacity. Other than convictions or legal proceedings, there may also be other facts and circumstances which, when considered holistically, renders a person to be not “fit and proper”.

3. How does CEA assess if there is sufficient rehabilitation for an applicant?

CEA assesses if there is sufficient rehabilitation based on the facts and circumstances of each case. Where an individual is assessed to be not “fit and proper” in light of convictions or other misconduct, CEA takes into account the severity, intent and consequence of the offences or relevant acts, as well as taking reference from other similar cases where appropriate. 
4. Can I apply to register at any time? Do I have to do anything during the rehabilitation to prove that I am sufficiently rehabilitated?

Yes, you may apply for registration/licence at any point in time if you feel that you have been sufficiently rehabilitated. However, you will have to show that you are sufficiently rehabilitated and provide supporting information and documents to demonstrate this. CEA will assess your application based on the facts and circumstances involved to determine if you are fit and proper to be registered/licenced. Please note that all other prevailing criteria for registration/licensing must also be satisfied.  

5. Can I appeal against CEA’s decision? 

Yes. You may submit an appeal to CEA to reconsider its decision within 14 days after being notified of CEA’s decision to reject your registration/licensing application or renewal, or to revoke or suspend your registration/licence. Alternatively, you may lodge an appeal with the Ministry of National Development (MND) Appeals Board, which is independent of CEA. Details of the appeal process can be found at this link: