Five national associations have joined hands to warn the public of illegal brokers operating under the guise of providing other services but indirectly carrying out real estate services.
The associations are the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia (RISM), Association of Valuers, Property Managers, Estate Agents and Property Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia (PEPS), Persatuan Perunding Hartanah Muslim Malaysia (Peham), Malaysian Institute of Property and Facility Managers (MIPFM) and Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA).
The errant enterprises come under the guise of financial consulting firms, tech firms and project marketing firms, among others, using technology as their leverage, said the associations via a joint statement.
“We collectively wish to caution members of the public to deal only with real estate agents and firms registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (Bovaep) when engaging any person or persons to carry out real estate services which include selling, buying, renting, leasing, tenancy administration and advisory services,” said the statement.
“This is a reminder that there are people who are not estate agents but who are really operating estate agency business illegally and using many forms of creative ideas to do so,” it said.
Real estate service is gazetted as a professional service under the Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act 242, 1981, to protect the public. It is also to ensure that if anyone other than those registered carries out the work as an agent in any form, shape, or manner, they will commit an offence. Offenders can be charged in court with a fine of not more than RM300,000 and imprisonment for not more than three years or both.
While this is the law, many unregistered individuals have found an agent’s work lucrative and have jumped in to provide real estate service. This defeats the purpose of the Act, which is designed primarily to protect public interest and to detail out the professional obligations of what an estate agent should and should not do within the ambit of the law.
To find out whether agents are registered or not involves two quick steps:
- Visit http://search.lppeh.gov.my
- Key in the firm’s name under Search for Firm or the agent’s name under Member
This profession is relatively young and is regulated by Bovaep to protect the public against unethical practices. As in many other professions, there are some bad apples, and these individuals are dealt with by the Bovaep when complaints are made by the public.
This allows the public to have recourse and remedy through the board against agents who infringe on the Act.