MIEA CONCERNED ON INCREASING NUMBER OF PROPERTY SCAMS & MISLEADING STATEMENTS THAT ESTATE AGENTS ARE INVOLVED IN FRAUD CASES | Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents

MIEA CONCERNED ON INCREASING NUMBER OF PROPERTY SCAMS & MISLEADING STATEMENTS THAT ESTATE AGENTS ARE INVOLVED IN FRAUD CASES

2020-09-23

Lim Boon Ping, the President of MIEA, addresses concerns of the Malaysian public with regards to unscrupulous property agents

Petaling Jaya, 22 September: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) refers to recent articles that appeared in the following publications.

  • September 7, 2020 in Harian Metro titled “40 ditipu ejen hartanah”
  • August 28, 2020 in The Star titled “Property agent leaves them with major debt from unpaid bank loans”
  • August 25, 2020 in Harian Metro titled “Mudahnya kena tipu RM 357,000”

With regards to the article in The Star, MIEA clarifies that the property agent who promoted the Youth Home Scheme was not a certified Real Estate Negotiator nor are they employed by a registered real estate firm and as such, they are not authorized by law to carry out Estate Agency Practice. “While we are concerned about the number of scams that are increasingly taking place, we as an institute representing the 25,000 real estate practitioners across Malaysia, are concerned about the misrepresentation made in recent press reports that real estate agents are cheating clients as in the three cases above. These are inaccurate statements”, said the President of MIEA, Lim Boon Ping.

By law, the term “Real Estate Agent” refers to a person who has passed Part 1 & 2 of the real estate exams over a minimum period of two years and has also undergone post practical training for an additional two years. On completion, they have to sit for a test of professional competence before their names are placed in a register by the Board of Valuers Appraisers, Estate Agents, and Property Managers and only then they are called Real Estate Agents. They are governed by ACT 242 and have fiduciary responsibilities to their clients and adhere to the code of conduct & ethics.

“To unilaterally say that a real estate agent does something fraudulent is a serious matter and the fact needs to be established whether they are truly ‘Registered Agents’ or ‘Illegal Brokers’. Illegal brokers are out there for quick profits and they are not trained nor recognized nor authorized to do any real estate transaction. MIEA has identified 13 ways the public can be scammed (please refer to www.myrealagents.com for more information) and we ask the media to be accurate and sensitive in their statements and to differentiate between an Agent and an Illegal Broker. Any misrepresentation of the term may cause confusion, distrust, and bring disrepute to the image of the Real Estate profession. We seek your kind cooperation on this matter”, asked President Boon Ping.

MIEA has made thousands of statements and are even in the midst of carrying out our own public awareness campaign called #MYREALAGENTS. We have strongly advised all Malaysians who are planning to engage in property transactions to use the services of a Registered Estate Agent (REA), Probationary Estate Agent (PEA) or Real Estate Negotiator (REN). MIEA also encourages Malaysians to seek the assistance of MIEA to verify whether the ones you are dealing with is legally an AGENT. The number of complaints received by MIEA has increased by 30% during the MCO and RMCO period but there are still members of the public who are willing to risk their life savings or go into financial ruin by placing their trust in those who are not authorized or certified by law to carry out real estate transactions. 

REAs and RENs are trained to be professional and ethical in their business dealings, aware of market trends and are familiar with the laws governing property transactions. Should there be any concerns or issues, members of the public who use the services of a REA or REN can at least feel safe and protected in that every registered firm is required to have a client’s account and purchase Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover themselves against any negligence with monies received or held by them. While there may be a small number of delinquents in the profession, a significant majority of Agents and negotiators adhere to a high standard of practice. Any misdoings by a Real Estate Agent or certified Negotiators can be addressed to the Real Estate Firm that employs them or to Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers to remedy the situation.

To safeguard the interest of the public, MIEA launched a public awareness campaign called #MYREALAGENTS in the beginning of the year and it is aimed at being a free resource to share advice and information on how to best use the services of an REA or REN, the common types of property pitfalls and the dangers of using illegal brokers. Act 242 or Valuers, Appraisers, and Estate Agents Act 1981 also states that illegal brokers who engage in property transactions can if convicted, be fined not exceeding RM300,000, or imprisonment for a term, not more than 3 years, or both. A further penalty of RM1,000 for each day during the continuance of such offence shall also be imposed. This provision also applies to any person who aids and abets in the commission of the offence. MIEA would also like to take this opportunity to remind Malaysians to be especially wary if a property deal sounds too good to be true. The public can verify their property agent by checking the BOVAEP website (www.lppeh.gov.my), call BOVAEP directly at 03-2288 8815 or send an email to [email protected]

ABOUT MIEA

MIEA is a National body representing real estate practitioners in Malaysia. Established in 1974, it comprises of more than 6,500 registered real estate practitioners as members. As the largest association representing registered real estate practitioners in the country, MIEA empowers practitioners by promoting professionalism, protect public interest and is the leading voice for Malaysian real estate practitioners on matters relating to real estate practices in Malaysia. Real estate practitioners are encouraged to join MIEA to be in the know in the Malaysian real estate industry, as well as enjoy the benefits of being a member.

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