CEA’s new rules to set standards for estate agency work

The Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) released new rules on Friday that will set standards and regulate the conduct of estate agency work.

From 15 November, salespersons cannot represent both buyers and sellers in a property transaction under the Estate Agents (Estate Agency Work) Regulations.

It will also prohibit estate agents and salespersons from handling cash in certain transactions or referring their clients to any moneylender.

Other provisions will kick in on 1 January.

They include prescribed estate agency agreements that estate agents will use with their clients for the sale, purchase or lease of residential property in Singapore.

Individuals who undertake estate agency work will also be required to take part in continuing professional development programmes for a minimum of 6 hours per year from 2011.

From March next year, the regulations will require salespersons to display their estate agent’s card, when doing estate agency work. This is to allow the industry sufficient time to comply with the estate agent’s card requirement.

Separately, the Estate Agents (Licensing and Registration) Regulations and the Estate Agents (Fees) Regulations will take effect on 1 November.

Application for estate agent’s license and salesperson’s registration will start from that date and those who successfully register with CEA will have their names published on its website from 1 January.

Those who do not meet the licensing or registration criteria will not be granted a license or registration. This includes those with criminal records, especially for fraud and dishonesty.

Also from January next year, it will be an offence for sales persons who are not registered with CEA to handle estate agency work.

They must also have written agreements with estate agents before they can practise.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 29 Oct 2010