PETALING JAYA: Five real estate associations have collectively cautioned the public to deal only with real estate agents and companies registered with the Board of Appraisers, Appraisers, Real Estate Agents and Property Managers (Bovaep) when they hire a person or persons to perform real estate services, including selling, buying, renting, leasing, rental management and advice.
In a joint statement issued by the Royal Institution of Surveyors Malaysia; Association of Appraisers, Property Managers, Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Consultants in the Private Sector Malaysia; Persatuan Perunding Hartanah Muslim Malaysia; Malaysian Institute of Property and Facilities Managers; and the Malaysian Institute of Real Estate Agents (MIEA), the associations pointed out that there are people who are not real estate agents but who illegally operate real estate agency business and “use many forms of creative ideas to do it “.
According to associations, traditionally, illegal brokers are individuals who act as intermediaries to introduce buyers or sellers. Today the profession has matured and organized businesses provide excellent service to the community. It is in these situations that various arrangements appear under the guise of providing other services but indirectly providing real estate services.
âThey call themselves financial consulting firms, technology firms, project marketing firms, etc., with the technology behind them. Today, not only are they doing the job illegally, but they are openly challenging Law 242 and questioning the validity of what the government expects of professionals and directly undermines the sanctity of the real estate profession.
âAs national associations representing the various disciplines under the law, we cannot observe and see the erosion of these moral, legal and fiduciary responsibilities by illegal brokers which undermines our work as registered practitioners. We also have a moral duty to protect the profession and call on the authorities to do what is necessary to control the growing threat of illegals and the impact they have on the profession and the public.
The associations added that the public should also check the validity of practitioners before hiring them and pay no fees if they are found not to be registered and file a complaint with Bovaep if they have been misled. .
“We are not against innovations and technology, but we want to strengthen our position that we cannot tolerate anyone, whether they are individuals or companies, in any form whatsoever, who does not respect not the existing laws of the country where it is registered as far as the real practice of real estate agencies is concerned, âsaid the press release.
Last week, the home rental platform Speedhome urged MIEA to change its perspective of viewing tech companies as illegal brokers, disagreeing with MIEA’s statement on tech companies trying to circumvent the law. Speedhome challenged MIEA’s view on the real estate industry that only real estate practitioners are allowed to serve the public, undermining the work and innovation of tech companies that have created new solutions and value for the market.
Meanwhile, citing that the real estate service is classified as a “professional service” under Law 242 of 1981 on Appraisers, Appraisers, Real Estate Agents and Property Managers, in order to protect the public, the five associations have stated that this was also to ensure that anyone other than these registered performs work as an agent in any form or manner commits an offense and can be charged in court with a fine not exceeding not 300,000 RM and a maximum imprisonment of three years or both, if convicted.
âAlthough it is the law, many have found the agent’s job lucrative and have gotten into providing real estate services. This therefore defeats the purpose of an Act of Parliament which is primarily aimed at protecting the public interest and detailing the professional obligations of what a real estate agent should and should not do in connection with the law.
The associations said the process of registering as a real estate agent and registering a real estate company is rigorous to ensure compliance with the law. Real estate agents take a minimum of four years to register after exams and hands-on training before setting up real estate companies. Real Estate Negotiators (RENs) are salespeople employed by registered businesses after completing a negotiators certification course and receive a REN label and are under the direct supervision of a registered real estate agent. Any wrongdoing on the part of the seller (REN) will hold REA accountable and accountable and as a regulator, Bovaep will take the necessary action.
The associations pointed out that the profession is relatively young and is regulated by Bovaep to protect the public against unethical practices.