Fit and proper person to hold a licence
An individual is not eligible to be granted, hold or continue to hold a licence unless he fulfills certain requirements and the EAA considers him a fit and proper person. In deciding whether an individual is a fit and proper person, the EAA will consider all relevant factors which include but are not limited to the following:
- the individual is an undischarged bankrupt (see relevant policy);
- the individual has within the five years prior to consideration by the EAA made a composition or scheme of arrangement with his creditors;
- the individual is a director or an officer of a company which is disqualified under the Estate Agents Ordinance from holding a licence, or he was a director or officer of that company when the company was so disqualified;
- the individual is a mentally disordered person or a patient within the meaning of section 2 of the Mental Health Ordinance (Cap. 136);
- the individual has any criminal conviction for any offence, other than an offence under the Estate Agents Ordinance, which involved the individual acting fraudulently, corruptly or dishonestly* (see relevant policy);
- the individual has any conviction under the Estate Agents Ordinance in respect of which he has been sentenced to imprisonment, whether the sentence is suspended or not (see relevant policy); and
- the individual has any other criminal conviction (see relevant policy).
The above are by no means exhaustive and the EAA does consider other factors.
Generally, a licence application will be refused and/or a licence will be revoked if the person concerned was convicted of any offences involving fraud, corruption or dishonesty within a period of five years prior to the date the conviction is considered by the EAA. Click here for the EAA's policy on the consideration of whether an individual having criminal conviction is a fit and proper person.
Licence applicants and/or licensees will be asked questions concerning the above and other factors. With regards criminal conviction, the rehabilitation provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance (Cap. 297) do not apply. In other words, disclosure is still required for a conviction otherwise considered "spent" under the Ordinance.
Click here to see special vetting procedure applicable to cases involving further consideration on whether the relevant person is a fit and proper person.
* Generally, offences such as theft, burglary, robbery, fraud, handling stolen goods, obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception, making off without payment, using a false instrument and any offence involving corruption are considered as having involved the individual acting fraudulently, corruptly or dishonestly.