PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) has identified nine proptech start-ups that operate real estate practices illegally.
The institute said it is ready to lodge police reports on whoever is infringing the law and meddling with the practice.
In a statement today, MIEA expressed concerns over proptech start-ups claiming to provide real estate technology solution but have circumvented the law by carrying out real estate practice illegally.
“Firstly, they come in saying that their tech platform is to bridge a sale or rental and help buyers and sellers and/or landlords and tenants respectively.
“They even directly state that this is to avoid using real estate agents to help save cost for them and they provide real estate services, prepare tenancy agreements, collect rentals and even claim their service is better,” said MIEA president Eric Lim.
“These tech start-ups are getting braver and bolder by challenging the law. They claim to help the public sell and rent their properties and that means they are illegally operating real estate practice when they collect a fee in any shape or form,” he added.
The real estate agency practice in Malaysia is governed by Act 242 whereby real estate agents are registered and real estate negotiators are certified by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents & Property Managers (BOVEAP).
Real estate transactions in the country can only be handled by real estate agents, real estate negotiators and property owners thus the real estate practices undertaken by such proptech start-ups are illegal, according to Section 22c of the Act.
“We call upon BOVEAP the regulators of our profession and the Finance Ministry to take the necessary action against these ‘proptech brokers’ to protect the public and the laws of the country,” said Lim.
He said real estate agents and negotiators are legally bound to follow the rules, standards and ethics in rendering service to clients and MIEA members are trained to protect the interest of clients.
“Monies collected are required by law to be placed in a client’s account and covered with professional indemnity insurance. All real estate negotiators and probationary estate agents are trained to represent the clients professionally and we play a big role in the country helping clients to get their ideal property.
“Any insinuation of any tech companies in what we do and who does not understand the complexity and role we play is an infringement on our practice and we will not condone nor be silent about it anymore,” Lim added in the statement.