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FAQ for New Scheme for Disciplinary Cases

1.

If a licensee who opted for the scheme is found to have committed any breaches again, he will face heavier sanctions. How heavier are the sanctions? Will they be three times or two times of the prevailing level?

   
 

EAA will only make a recommendation on heavier sanctions if the licensee commits any breach within the two-year period. The ultimate decision on the level of sanctions will be made by the inquiry hearing panel, with due regards to the prevailing level of sanctions, the gravity of the breach and other relevant factors.

   

2.

After a licensee joins the Scheme, will his record of the breaches be cancelled after the two-year period if he does not commit any further breaches in that period? Will the Disciplinary Committee still consider that record when deciding on sanctions against the licensee for breaches that he/she commits after the two-year period?

   
 

If a licensee has opted for the Scheme, his record on the Memorandum of Admitted Breaches (“the Memorandum”) at EAA’s website will be removed upon the expiry of the two-year period. However, that record will be retained together with the licensee’s disciplinary record for the Disciplinary Committee’s sentencing consideration in the future cases.

   

3.

If a licensee does not opt for the Scheme when he commits breaches for the first time, can he still opt for the Scheme when he commits breaches for the second time?

   
 

If a licensee does not opt for the Scheme when he commits a breach for the first time, and if that breach is found substantiated, he may not opt for the Scheme when he commits another breach for the second time.

   

4.

Can a licensee, after opting for the Scheme, opt out from it again within the two-year period, no matter if he/she does or does not commit breaches for the second time in that period?

   
 

Once a licensee has opted for the Scheme and his case dealt with by the Disciplinary Committee, his record will remain on the Memorandum posted on EAA’s website for two years and during which he cannot elect to have the breach dealt with in the usual way.

   

5.

Will a licensee be eligible for the Scheme again upon the expiry of the two-year period after he/she has opted for the Scheme?

   
 

After the expiry of the two-year period, provided that the licensee has not committed any breach during the period, the licensee will still be eligible for the Scheme.

   

6.

Will EAA conduct compliance checks targeted at those licensees who have opted for the Scheme and particularly on those requirements which the licensees admitted having committed breaches?

   
 

With a view to deterring repeated breaches, EAA will randomly conduct compliance visits to those licensees who have opted for the Scheme.

   

7.

Will estate agency companies or individual licensees be entitled to opt for the Scheme?

   
 

Both companies and individual licensees will be entitled to opt for the Scheme.

   

8.

If a licensee opts for the Scheme, will his/her record in the Memorandum affect his/her application for renewal of licence?

   
 

A licensee’s record on the Memorandum, by itself alone, will not affect his application for renewal of his license, unless he has committed any other breach which hinges upon his fitness and properness to continue holding the licence.

   
9.

If a licensee’s case involves both a specified breach and other non-specified breaches, how will his case be handled under the Scheme?  Can the licensee still opt for the Scheme?

   
 

Yes, the licensee can, with regard to the specified breach(es), opt for the Scheme.  EAA will first send a letter to the licensee to invite him to opt for the Scheme and inform him that the other non-specified breaches will be dealt with separately. Depending on the seriousness of the case, the other non-specified breaches may be dealt with by way of a document-based inquiry hearing or full inquiry hearing. The licensee shall be informed of the details of the non-specified breaches in writing in due course.

   
10.

Regarding the same scenario in Question 9, will the licensee face heavier sanctions for the other non-specified breaches if he opts for the Scheme?

   
 

The licensee will not face heavier sanctions with regard to the other non-specified breaches simply because he opts for the Scheme with regard to the specified breaches under the same case.  He may face heavier sanctions if he thereafter commits another breach within 2 years of opting for the Scheme.

   
   
 

Last Update Date:  25/4/2014

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