CEA suspends two property agents

Two property agents have become the first to be punished under the Council for Estate Agencies’ (CEA’s) disciplinary framework.

Under the framework, sales persons who breach its Code of Ethics and Professional Client Care will face disciplinary action.

The Disciplinary Committee may, upon determination of the breach, reprimand the sales person, revoke or suspend registration, impose a financial penalty of up to S$75,000 or attach conditions to the registration.

CEA said its Disciplinary Committee (DC) has concluded disciplinary proceedings against Kee Lee Ping and Roland Pun Siew Hong on 25 June 2012 and 28 March 2012 respectively.

In a media statement, CEA said 32-year-old Kee was charged with failing to declare her interests — which were in conflict with those of her clients, who were buyers of a property.

One of the co-sellers was her husband and colleague, and the other two co-sellers were her parents-in-law.

For this charge, the DC imposed a suspension of three months and a financial penalty of S$3,000.

Kee was also sentenced by the DC to a suspension of one month for failing to comply with HDB resale procedures.

CEA said Kee had facilitated the buyers to enter into a supplemental agreement to extend the sellers’ stay beyond completion.

She also arranged for the sellers to grant the Option to Purchase (OTP) on the same day as the completion of the Sellers’ Resale Checklist — which was not allowed within the seven days of “cooling-off period”.

Kee pleaded guilty to the above two charges and the remaining two charges were taken in consideration during sentencing.

Her suspension for both charges is to run concurrently, with effect from 1 July 2012. In addition, the DC awarded S$1,000 as costs to CEA.

Kee was a registered sales person of Property Edge International at the time of the complaint. She is currently with HSR International Realtors and has been practising as a sales person for about six years.

The second agent censured was 45-year-old Roland Pun, who was a registered sales person of Linkvest Property at the time of complaint. He is currently with ECG Property and has been practising as a sales person for about four years.

CEA said a complainant had seen an advertisement put up by Pun stating that a property was available for rent.

She corresponded with Pun a few times, but decided to stop corresponding with him further as she was unhappy with his service.

She did not engage Pun to be her sales person, but over the span of seven days, Pun sent a total of 51 abusive and insulting SMS messages to her.

CEA said Pun’s attack was unprovoked, and the complainant had felt harassed, aggrieved and insulted by his numerous SMS messages. So she had decided to lodge a complaint with CEA.

Pun was charged with bringing disrepute to the real estate industry by harassing the complainant with numerous abusive SMS messages, which breached CEA’s Code of Ethics and Professional Client Care.

He pleaded guilty to the charge and the DC ordered him to pay a financial penalty of S$2,500 and costs of S$1,000.

He was also asked to give a written apology to the complainant.

CEA said it would be holding several more disciplinary hearings over the next few months.

The upcoming disciplinary cases include instances of agents who have failed to act in the best interest of clients, convey offers or expressions of interest from potential purchasers to clients, and declare potential conflicts of interest.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 2 Jul 2012

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