The Land Administration Bureau's Tips for Fraud Prevention
In order to improve the quality of land administration services, protect the rights of the public, and promote the security of real estate transactions, the Land Administration Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government has issued a "Real Estate Fraud Prevention Handbook" for citizens to obtain for free or to download directly from the Internet so that people can protect themselves from falling into the trap of fraud rings.
According to the Land Administration Bureau, from 2017 to August 2019, there have been more than 30 cases of evidence collection, investigation, and penalties imposed on illegal agencies. In addition to the prohibition on the continued operation of the business, the cumulative amount in fines imposed has exceeded NT$1.7 million. Among them, two cases were referred to the judicial authorities for investigation by the Land Administration Bureau as they were exposed to be continuing their operation again after the penalties were imposed.
According to the Land Administration Bureau, acting as go-between or representative in the sale, exchange, tenancy of property are all considered broking, and according to the Real Estate Broking Management Act, it must be conducted by a lawful operator. Those who violate it will be banned from operating and fined between NT$100,000 to NT$300,000, and those who continue operations shall be sentenced to a maximum of one year in prison. The Land Administration Bureau would like to remind the public that real estate transactions involve huge sums of money and a wide range of implications. However, the public generally lacks legal expertise on real estate transaction security. In addition, important information is sometimes not fully disclosed in advertisements and sales processes in the market to provide the parties involved in the transaction with the right guidance and choices, making it easy to cause disputes during the transaction process. Furthermore, the litigation incurred will be costly and will take a long time. If you inadvertently fall into a fraudulent trap, your hard-earned money may go down the drain. Therefore, when buying or selling real estate, people must choose lawful and trustworthy brokers and land administration agents wisely to protect their rights.
The Land Administration Bureau further stated that last year it produced and published a "Real Estate Transactions Handbook" for distribution to real estate associations and the public, and it has won praise. Therefore, this year, the "Real Estate Fraud Prevention Handbook" was produced again for people to read. The handbook is divided into two main sections: the first one is "Homeowners Selling" and the second one is "People Buying." Each of the two sections describes six lines of defense that people can follow to avoid transactional disputes and protect themselves from falling into the trap of fraudsters. It can be obtained free of charge from the Land Cadastre Section of the Land Administration Bureau by scanning the QR-Code for direct download. It can also be downloaded from the Land Administration Bureau's website or its Real Estate Transactions Section (URL:https://landp.kcg.gov.tw/news_detail.php?nid=873&catid=4169).
The Land Administration Bureau would like to reiterate its appeal that with the rapid socio-economic development nowadays and the increasing number of real estate transactions, every small detail must be taken care of. The only way to protect your property is to be extra careful. Members of the public may also report to the Land Administration Bureau if they discover any illegal activities. (07-3368333 ext. 2597, 2627, 3504) Assistance will be provided by a specialist.