KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Over 100,000 real estate agents are operating without a licence in the country, Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) president Lim Boon Ping said.
According to the New Straits Times, unlicensed agents outnumbered their authorised counterparts by more than three to one.
“While we have seen some reduction over the years, the number (of illegal agents) is still high.
“We are keeping tabs and actively collecting evidence of activities involving illegal real estate brokers throughout the country and are working with the police to curb such activities in a more proactive manner,” he was quoted as saying.
He advised the public not to engage unlicensed agents as doing so meant putting their life savings at risk.
Lim also urged such agents to get certified, adding that his group was working with state governments in Sabah and Sarawak to make certification more accessible.
Citing Section 30 of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers Act 1981, Lim said acting as a real estate agent without a licence was an offence punishable by a fine of up to RM300,000 fine and/or three years of jail.
Local Government and Housing Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin recently warned the public against engaging dubious real estate agents or negotiators when selling or buying property.
She said it was important that people to choose certified agents endorsed by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers (BOVAEP), which is under the purview of the Finance Ministry.
Zuraida also urged the MIEA to play a more active role in engaging its members to come out with more strategic ideas to help developers market unsold properties.