Bogus Singapore real estate agents operating in Malaysia

Bernama pic.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) today said it is concerned over the mushrooming of Proptech start-ups from Singapore providing real estate agency services under the guise of technology solutions.

In a statement today, MIEA claimed that these bogus agents perform services to bridge a sale or rental and help buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants.

They even directly state that this is to avoid using real estate agents to help save costs for them.

They provide real estate services, prepare tenancy agreements, collect rentals and claim their services are better.

MIEA said as the body appointed to represent real estate agents under the law, they were concerned over these claims.

“These tech startups are getting braver and bolder by challenging the law.

“They claim to help the public sell and rent their properties.

“That means they are illegally operating real estate practice when they collect a fee in any shape or form,” said the MIEA president Eric Lim.

He said MIEA has identified nine of these companies and is ready to lodge police reports against whoever is infringing the law and meddling with their practice.

The estate agency practice in Malaysia is governed by the Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act 1981 (Act 242).

Real estate negotiators are certified by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents & Property Managers (Boveap).

Subsection 22c (1)(ba) forbids anyone not registered as an estate agent from offering “for sale, rent or lease or invite, offer to purchase, rent or lease any land buildings”.

Lim called on the regulators and the finance ministry to take necessary action against these “Proptech brokers” to protect the public and the laws of the country.

“While we embrace technology and understand how it benefits the profession, these Proptech start-ups should instead work with the 20,000 real estate practitioners and not take over their role,” added Lim.