A Perth real estate agent has been fined $5000 by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) over its property management division.
South Coast Realty, operating as Rental Solutions, was fined $3000 for breaches of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act Code of Conduct which occurred between November 2013 and January 2016.
The agency failed in its duties under the Code of Conduct by:
– Failing to provide five reports to one client relating to inspections carried out on two rental properties;
– Failing to attend court relating to the dispersal of a bond on a property under its management;
– Failing to respond to a client’s requests and enquiries regarding their property;
– Failing to lodge a bond with the Bond Administrator within 14 days;
– Failing to invoice and record its trust ledger advertising costs payable by its client in a timely and accurate manner;
– Failing to properly update accounting software resulting in overcharging client commissions that later had to be repaid;
– Failing to repay funds owing to a property owner in a timely manner following the termination of the management authority; and
– Failing to provide a property condition report to a client within the required seven days.
Director and supervisor of the agency Kim Edward Turner was fined $2000 for failing to properly supervise the agency and take steps to ensure that staff complied with the relevant laws.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said the breaches were unacceptable.
“While there is no suggestion of dishonesty in this case, there was a serious lack of compliance with laws which are designed to ensure the efficient and professional operation of a real estate agency to protect the interests of both property owners and tenants,” Mr Hillyard said.
“It’s a strict requirement of all real estate agent licences that every aspect of the Act and the Codes of Conduct are adhered to by the principles and their staff. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action being taken.”
Rental Solutions has since ceased business.
In March 2015, the agency and Mr Turner were fined a total of $4000 by the SAT over the misuse of the agency’s trust account:
More information on the obligations of real estate agents, sales representatives and property managers is available on the Consumer Protection website: www.consumerprotection.wa.gov.au or enquiries can be made by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.