Board records three new cases of bo­gus agents

Fiji Sun - - Nation - SALOTE QALUBAU LAU­TOKA Edited by Epineri Vula

The Real Es­tate Agents Li­cens­ing Board (REALB) has recorded three new cases of bo­gus real es­tate agents op­er­at­ing in Lau­toka through so­cial me­dia.

REALB Chair­man and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of South Pa­cific Prop­erty Con­sult­ing Ser­vices Pte Lim­ited Ab­dul Has­san said the cases were re­ported to REALB by mem­bers of the pub­lic who at­tended the road­show yes­ter­day at the Sugar City Mall in Lau­toka.

“This morn­ing (yes­ter­day) in­for­ma­tion was pro­vided to us that three peo­ple in Lau­toka were il­le­gally op­er­at­ing with­out any real es­tate li­cence,” he said.

“We will con­tact the prop­erty own­ers once we have enough in­for­ma­tion then will pass it to the Po­lice.”

Mr Has­san said these three cases were in ad­di­tion to pre­vi­ously re­ported cases which were pend­ing.

The board has also re­ceived cases of in­sur­ance of­fi­cers pos­ing as real es­tate agents. “We ex­pect more cases to be re­ported dur­ing this three-day road­show in the Western Divi­sion, but we al­ready have 20 bo­gus real es­tate agent cases pend­ing all over Fiji,” he said.

“We have given that in­for­ma­tion to po­lice and they are work­ing on it now. “There was also a re­port about in­sur­ance of­fi­cers ad­vis­ing the pub­lic that they will ar­range for a client to buy prop­er­ties while also col­lect­ing a com­mis­sion from the pub­lic, so that is why we have the Con­sumer Coun­cil here with us at this road­show.”

He ad­vised mem­bers of the pub­lic to ask for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion cards from real es­tate agents be­fore en­gag­ing with them any fur­ther.

“REALB has a web­site with reg­is­tered real es­tate agents, so the pub­lic can al­ways cross check with that. If some­one is sell­ing prop­erty in Lau­toka, then they can go through the list and look for that agency,” Mr Has­san said

“The risk is that some peo­ple do not un­der­stand the dif­fer­ence be­tween real es­tate agents and bo­gus agents, so when these peo­ple ap­proach the pub­lic they end up pay­ing de­posits and it’s very hard to re­cover their money and REALB will not be able to do much be­cause they have not gone through our sys­tem.”

Mem­bers of the pub­lic were urged to con­tact REALB of­fices if they had queries of any na­ture re­gard­ing prop­erty sales.

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