Real estate agent fined over unregistered sales rep (Attree Real Estate)

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A Gosnells real estate agency has been fined a total of $2,500 by the Armadale Magistrates Court for employing and paying commissions to an unregistered sales representative.

Attree Pty Ltd, trading as Attree Real Estate, employed a sales representative who had received commission payments between August 2012 and May 2013 while that employee’s registration as a sales representative was not current. This is in breach of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.

Lawyers for Consumer Protection told the Court that the employee continued to carry out the functions of a sales representative and receive commissions over a ten month period, despite the agency being informed by the Department that the employee’s certificate of registration had expired. Defence counsel told the Court that the employee had failed to renew the registration on time.

On 4 December 2014 the agency was fined $1,500 for employing an unregistered sales representative and $1,000 for the payment of sales commissions. The agency was also ordered to pay Court costs of $397.

In a separate case in the Armadale Magistrates Court on 20 November 2014, the employee was fined $500 and ordered to pay costs of $588 for carrying out the functions of a real estate sales representative without having a current certificate of registration. The employee admitted failing to renew the registration despite numerous reminders from Consumer Protection. Magistrate Flynn granted a spent conviction due to the employee’s personal circumstances at the time of the offences.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll said licensed real estate agents have a legal obligation to ensure that all the sales representatives they employ are registered.

“The licensing and registration system is designed to maintain high standards of conduct within the WA real estate industry and provide protection for consumers who place a great deal of trust in agents and their sales representatives to handle one of their biggest assets,” Ms Driscoll said.

“Agents who employ unregistered sales representatives and sales representatives who fail to renew their registrations but continue to operate are breaking the law and will face prosecution with the risk of being fined as well as having their professional reputation tarnished.”

More information on the obligations of real estate agents and sales representatives is available on the Consumer Protection website or enquiries can be made by email: consumer@commerce.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.

END OF RELEASE

Media Contact (Consumer Protection)

Consumer Protection
Media release
09 Dec 2014

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