SINGAPORE: A 43-year-old woman was fined S$15,000 on Wednesday (May 8) for acting as a property agent without a licence.
Vanessa Thien Cai Yan was involved in helping two HDB flat owners rent out rooms, said the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) in a media release.
In one case, Thien contacted the owner of a Sengkang HDB flat via Facebook sometime in November 2017. The owner had listed a room for rent on Facebook, and Thien offered to help her look for tenants and charge 25 per cent of a month’s rental as commission should the transaction be successful.
When the owner asked about which property agency she was from, Thien did not reply, said CEA.
The room was eventually rented to a Myanmar national for S$550 a month for a six-month tenancy. The tenant transferred the money to Thien, who then gave the owner S$412.50 after deducting her commission.
In the other case, Thien contacted a woman on online marketplace Carousell on Nov 30, 2017.
The woman, on behalf of the owner and her cousin, had listed a room in a Punggol HDB flat for rent. She accepted Thien's offer of 25 per cent of a month’s rental as commission.
According to CEA, Thien advertised the rental on Facebook and conducted a viewing of the flat, identifying herself as the agent. She had also asked the owner's mother to provide her name and NRIC number so that she could prepare a tenancy agreement for the rental.
On Jan 16 last year, CEA officers started to investigate Thien after receiving a tip-off from a property agent.
Two other similar charges were taken into consideration in sentencing.
Homeowners should only engage property agencies and agents that are registered with the regulator, said the CEA. A public register of licensed entities and individuals is available on the CEA website.