HOUSING AGENT JAILED FOR 18 MONTHS
Streats, 21 Nov 2000 reported
that Mr Joseph Lui Hang Yin, 54, a senior associate manager with Citiwide Realty International, probably because the
first housing agent to be successfully prosecuted yesterday in a case of harbouring immigration offenders.
He was sentenced
to 18 months jail for abetting Madam Tan Sock Meng, the owner of a Serangoon Road apartment, a 72-year-old landlady in renting
out her apartment to illegal immigrants.
Under the law, it is the responsibility of ther landlord to carry out sufficient
checks to ensure that the tenants are not illegal immigrants.
Mr Lui promised to
coduct the necessary checks for her and introduced 2 Chinese nationals. Mr Liu was paid commission of $800 and $500
from the Landlord and tenant respectively after the tenancy agreement was signed on July 5, 1999 between the Landlord and
Huang Guo Ping.
The Deputy Public Prosecutor R D Gangatharan argued that the onus
was for Mr Liu to verify the documents ad that Lui had ignored that "Huang'" employment pass had already expired and that
no original documents were given to Madam Lau, the daughter of the Landlady. The DPP urged the court to impose a heavier
sentence as Liu had been previously convicted of cheating and criminal breach of trust.
District Judge See Kee Oon
said: "Liu had blithely chosen to disregard what were highly suspicious circumstances and he "deliberately ignored all the
signs" pointing to the tenant's illegal status.
Landlady gets jail sentence
for harbouring illegal immigrants
A retired widow was jailed on 27 Nov 2000 for harbouring
illegal immigrants. Paridah Sanip, 63, a former civil servant, was sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty
to renting rooms in her home to two Indonesian women who had overstayed their social visit passes. (Straits Times 28 Nov 2000)
'Landlord' cheats prospective tenants
A couple raked in almost S$40,000 by collecting deposits for rooms they never
intended to rent out. They cheated 47 people over three months by running newspaper advertisements for rooms in their rented
flat, showing them to prospective tenants and demanding a deposit for holding the rooms. PHAN Quee Yew, 49, and his 39-year-old
live-in girlfriend, who has also been charged, then skipped town with the deposits, which ranged from S$300 to S$2700. A district
court this week sentenced PHAN to three years in jail after he pleaded guilty to 10 counts of cheating. (Straits Times 24
An elderly man and woman were convicted and sentenced to seven months' jail each
on 12 Oct 2000 for harbouring a Myanmar overstayer. But YAP Yoke Moi, 64, a widow, and her friend, MOOI Shong Chee, 74, a
former shipyard department head, who intend to appeal, had their sentences deferred till next week. (Straits Times 13 Oct
Law requiring Stainless-steel brackets for air-conditioners
comes into effect
The new law requiring homeowners to replace all wooden brackets
with stainless-steel brackets for air- conditioners mounted in wall openings or windows in all buildings except landed
homes comes into effect from 1 Oct 2000. Homeowners who have not yet replaced such wooden brackets face a fine of up to S$5000
and up to six months in jail.
MP may ask for review of punishment guidelines
for harbouring illegals
Mr CHNG Hee Kok, who heads the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Home
Affairs and Law, told The Straits Times on 27 Sep 2000 that he may ask the government to review the punishment guidelines
for harbouring illegal immigrants. He said the law should allow the judiciary more discretionary powers, to be lenient in
cases involving elderly landlords who are illiterate or tricked into renting out their apartments unknowingly.
Landlady jailed for mandatory
6 months for renting apartment to overstayers
73-year-old WONG Yue, an illiterate widow, was jailed for six months on 28 Sep
2000 for renting out her apartment to five Indonesians who overstayed. A district court heard that she had rented out a 16th
floor unit at the Pearl bank Apartments to five Indonesian men whose social-visit passes had expired. (Straits Times 29 Sep
Landlord jailed for not checking
sub-tenant's immigration status
A 68-year-old retired quantity surveyor who failed to check his sub-tenant's
immigration status, was jailed for six months on 30 Aug 2000 for harbouring an illegal immigrant. Ang Joo Kwee, alias Wee
Joo Kwee, had checked his tenants' work permits and immigration status with the authorities before he let out the apartment.
But he did not verify the immigration status of his sub-tenant, Chen Choon Lian, 41, whom one of his tenants subsequently
Chief Justice Yong Pung How on sub-letting of
flats to illegal immigrants
A landlord cannot be held liable for the acts of his tenants who sub-let his
flat to illegal immigrants without his knowledge. Chief Justice Yong Pung How made this ruling recently when he clarified
a point of law under the Immigration Act which holds landlords and employers liable for harbouring the illegal immigrants.
Under the law, landlords are responsible for checking their foreign tenants' background carefully. But, CJ Yong noted that
this did not mean that all landlords found with illegal immigrants in their flat would be guilty. They must first have a "guilty
mind", he pointed out in the Law Academy Digest. But if something was done without their knowledge, especially in cases where
the tenants are the culprits who allow the illegal immigrants into the flats, then landlords should not be penalised. (ST
28 Aug 2000)
Landlords can check on foreign
tenants' immigration status online
Landlords and homeowners can now check their foreign tenants'
immigration status on the Internet. Information on immigration passes can be verified at www.sir.gov.sg, while work passes can be checked at MOM. The new on-line verification system became available yesterday.
Land and property owners to take due care when
renovating their premises
Land and property owners must ensure that any excavation work they do on their
own land does not affect or damage the property next door. If they fail to take preventive measures, for example, by building
retaining or support walls, they will be liable to pay hefty compensation if cracks or other faults appear on their neighbour's
property. Singapore's highest court, the Court of Appeal, made this ruling on 24 Jul 2000, overruling an archaic English land
law which, for 120 years, has allowed land owners free use of their proper