18 cases of bogus real estate agents recorded

THE Real Estate Agents Licensing Board (REALB) has recorded a total of 18 cases of bogus agents so far from 2012.

Acting chief executive officer Virisila Tuimanu said they were aware of people who were operating illegal real estate firms in Fiji without REALB’s approval.

She highlighted a case in 2014 where the agent’s licence had expired but still continued to operate.

“The bogus agent obtained a large sum of money from the complainant, falsely pretending that the agent was a legal real estate agent and could arrange to do the transaction,” she said.

She said their compliance and monitoring unit were closely following the situation on the ground.

“We have been receiving complaints from members of the public and those who have been prey of these bogus agents are coming forward to lodge their complaints.

She said they conducted their own investigations before forwarding the case to police.

“All interested companies or an individual who wants to become a real estate agent needs to meet certain requirements in order to carry out the duties of the real estate agents,” she said.

She urged members of the public to always demand to see real estate agents licence cards before engaging them.

“Call REALB up and verify agents’ names. Demand to see their IDs which should have their names, company name and expiry date of ID card. Get advice from other friends who have done similar property transactions,” she said.