Agent fined after tenants’ deposits stolen

A LANDSDALE real estate agent has been fined $3000 after he failed to deposit rental cash efficiently and it was stolen by thieves.

Chukwudi Nnamdi Ejindu, trading as Black Swan Real Estate, was reprimanded and fined by the State Administrative Tribunal for failing to exercise due skill, care and diligence in the depositing and recording of payments from tenants. Ejindu accepted 13 cash payments from tenants between January 2013 and June 2014, keeping them in his office safe.

It took four to 14 days for the agency to deposit the cash in the agent’s trust account, breaching the Real Estate and Business Agents Act, which requires money to be deposited as soon as practicable.

“In this instance, the agent’s failure to bank his clients’ money promptly resulted in the clients’ money being stolen by thieves breaking in to the office,” Acting Consumer Protection commissioner Gary Newcombe said.

The agency also took two to six days to record 10 electronic payments in the trust account ledger, another breach of the act, which requires it be done the following business day.