LICENSEES should disclose their own personal interests to their clients in relation to the properties they handle.
Otherwise, they may be subject to disciplinary action by the Estate Agents Authority.
An estate agent arranged for a tenant to enter into a tenancy agreement in a leasing transaction.
Throughout the transaction, the tenant had never met the landlord.
The tenant later discovered the landlord’s name stated in the tenancy agreement was that of the agent’s mother, but the land title search revealed the agent herself was in fact the registered owner.
The estate agent explained the property was paid for by her mother, while the daughter was only the registered owner.
The Disciplinary Committee of the Estate Agents Authority was of the view the estate agent intentionally concealed the fact she was the owner by writing her mother’s name as the landlord in the tenancy agreement.
Therefore, the estate agent had failed to comply with the guidelines set out in Practice Circular No 08-03(CR).
The guidelines stipulate that an estate agent may not purchase or rent property from his client, and he may not sell or let his own property to his client unless he has made a full disclosure of all the relevant facts to his client before entering into any agreement, and had obtained his client’s informed consent to such a transaction.
The disciplinary committee decided to reprimand the estate agent and suspend her license for a month.
A condition was also attached to her license, requiring her to obtain 12 points in the core subjects of the Continuing Professional Development Scheme within 24 months.
(8 September 2016)