When other don’t follow the law in estate agency practice, what can you do?
In the daily practice of estate agency, there are issues which we as agents cannot compromise. For example, cheating money by marking up the price of transaction. This is secret money. It contravenes Contracts Act, 1950. Of particular is
S.173 Agent not entitled to remuneration for business misconducted.
“An agent who is guilty of misconduct in the business of the agency is not entitled to any remuneration in respect of that part of the business which he has misconducted.”
The contract is voidable when the disadvantaged party found out later. This is a serious matter, and misconduct of this magnitude can get the REA suspended under S.24 of VAEP Act, 1981. Of particular S.24(1)(a)
“has been convicted of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty or moral turpitude;”
However, there are things which I personally find less significant. For example, the banner having to display agency desk number where nowadays we are more accustomed to mobile phones. Earlier posting talked about this issue. Indeed, you can always verify the agent/negotiator number by performing a search at the Board website.
Based on the two examples above, which would you think has a higher tendency to cross the law? The answer is the marking up. Why? Because it is harder to prove. It is not openly discussed or displayed. The monetary incentive is tempting to the wrongdoer.
Indeed, the professional of estate agency has inherent tendency to commit this crime. Why?
Because of the sub-agents – RENs. When it is done without the notice of the REA and someone else takes the blame, it is best of both world! The REN who is found to commit the wrong would just walk off, but the REA’s licensed might be suspended!
And, when you tell the REN, please do your job according to the law, he will answer you “well, my advantage is that I was never trained like you! I did NOT know.”
Try NOT to get upset by looking at his face!