RIYADH — The Saudi Real Estate General Authority (REGA) has begun legal actions against real estate brokers who were part of fraud and manipulation operations. Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learnt from well-informed sources that these brokers, who were accused of enabling fraudsters to use the data collected by them while documenting rental contracts through Ejar portal, were referred to the concerned authorities to take punitive measures against them.
According to the sources, the scams that were monitored included posting attractive and illogical prices in advertisements and unlicensed websites to attract the tenant for the rental unit, and then pressurizes him with the factors such as time and huge demand. One of the most dangerous methods was the misuse of some individuals’ data by fraudsters in a kind of cover-up to register as a real estate broker. They then register contracts to enhance the confidence of the tenant that they are accredited brokers.
The authority earlier urged the public to report about any suspicious transaction or unauthorized advertisement, and to ensure the completion of the process of documenting the electronic contract through the Ejar platform. It also instructed that there should be the landlord’s approval of the contract before making any payment and using electronic payment channels, and not transferring money to individual bank accounts.
The fraudsters used the data of some individuals who unknowingly hand over their data to such fraudsters to be used in receiving bank transfers, or registering rental contracts in their names.
According to the Ejar platform guidelines, the property must be seen, and the owner or licensed real estate broker is present, and not deal shall be concluded with unlicensed real estate agent or broker. It is also not to be tempted by illogical, attractive rental offers, and to visit the rental index to find out the average prices and their suitability to the specifications of the rental unit.
The Ejar platform works to enhance reliability in the real estate rental sector, by achieving digital integration between a number of government agencies. This contributes to raising the level of transparency in the dealings between the parties to the rental process, and verifying the data of the dealers.
It also provides value-added solutions that increase the efficiency of transactions in standardized and approved contracts, which preserve the rights of the parties and reduce disputes in the real estate rental sector. It is noteworthy that ever since its launch Ejar has documented more than 6.5 million residential and commercial leases