A REAL estate agent has received a rare lifetime ban from the industry after fabricating purchase offers on properties in Balcatta and Stirling.
The State Administrative Tribunal permanently disqualified Gayla Currie from ever holding a certificate of registration in WA, and fined her $1500 plus $1200 in costs.
In August her employer, Sakar, trading as Century 21 Max Comben in Morley, was fined $2000 and sales supervisor Maxwell Comben was fined $3000 for breaching the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.
Ms Currie started working as a sales representative for the agency in February 2015, supervised by Mr Comben, but her registration certificate expired in October 2015 and she continued working despite not renewing it until February 2016.
She was found to have presented 22 fake contracts of offer and acceptance to owners of properties in Westminster, Balcatta, Morley and Stirling.
The Balcatta owner allowed a tenant to break lease and the Stirling owners repaired window awnings as they believed the offers were genuine.
Mr Comben failed to notice that the offer signatures were in Ms Currie’s handwriting, the absence of finance letters or their forgery, phone numbers were made up, no deposits were received and no sales were settled.
Consumer Protection Commissioner David Hillyard said the ban was rare but appropriate given the “serious deceptive conduct” over nine month that resulted in financial losses to clients.
He said Mr Comben was responsible for ensuring staff acted in accordance with the law.
“For this deception to occur unnoticed over such a long period of time shows a serious lack of proper supervision on Mr Comben’s part and, as a result, property owners who put their trust in the agency have endured great inconvenience and financial disadvantage,” he said.
Ms Currie said she had submitted documents for her registration but “did not know it hadn’t been processed” but declined to comment regarding the fake contracts.