He who pretends to be the owner, took my booking fee but not selling the house. What’s next?
Continue on … S.185 Contracts Act, 1950.
This means that you as the third person can hold the agent as if he is the principal – the owner. The actual owner – if still wants to sell his house, would have to abide by the terms which has already been agreed upon. This is to protect you as the third person who does not have the clue as to “who is who” in this unknown agency relationship.
And, if the actual owner does not agree to accept the terms, then you can invoke S.186 to hold both the agent and his principal liable.
S.186 Right of person dealing with agent personally liable.
In cases where the agent is personally liable, a person dealing with him may hold either him or his principal, or both of them, liable.
However, many a time, you might have just met this broker for the very first time. So, you stand to lose your RM10,000 booking fee if you cannot get hold of him. You can go and find the actual owner, but he can always deny that he has seen or known this “broker”. At the end, you can make a police report and that is about all you could do. You can sue the broker, the owner, or both.
S.188 has the law that deals with a pretending agent. It says in simple manner, he who pretends has to be responsible for the consequences.
S.188 Liability of pretended agent.
A person untruly representing himself to be the authorized agent of another, and thereby inducing a third person to deal with him as such agent, is liable, if his alleged employer (principal) does not ratify his acts, to make compensation to the other in respect of any loss or damage which he has incurred by so dealing.
On the contrary, if you paid the booking fee to an agency firm, you stand to get back the money as it is deposited into the client’s account. When the owner refuses to accept your offer to purchase, the agency firm must call off the deal. You shall receive your booking fee straight away with no question asked. There is not charges imposed as there is no transaction.