INFORMATION ABOUT CLIENTS and listings is regarded as an asset of estate agency firms. Without their employer’s permission, licensees should not copy such information.
If they do, they may breach the Code of Ethics and may be subject to disciplinary action by the Estate Agents Authority.
Two licensees copied listings information from the computers of an agency without seeking their employer’s permission.
The Disciplinary Committee conducted an inquiry hearing and found that the conduct of the licensees had not only damaged the trust between their employer and them, but also harmed the professional image of the trade, bringing disrepute to the trade as a whole.
They failed to comply with paragraph 3.7.2 of the Code of Ethics – which stipulates that estate agents and salespersons should avoid any practice which may bring discredit and/or disrepute to the estate agency trade. As a result, the licensees’ licenses were suspended for 14 days and conditions were also attached to them.
The EAA is concerned about licensees engaging in the transfer of clientele or listings without their employer’s permission. Though similar cases have been rare in recent years, licensees should refrain from engaging in such acts or else they may be subject to disciplinary action by the EAA.
There was a case in which the agent’s license was revoked by one Disciplinary Committee.
The licensees could be sued for damages by their employers or even be guilty of a criminal offense.