Reprimand and fine for lack of agency supervision (Raine and Horne Cannington / Maria Intini)
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A real estate agency has been reprimanded and fined by the State Administrative Tribunal for failing to have a licensed director for almost two years.
Chant Ram Pty Ltd, trading as Raine and Horne Cannington, was fined $2,500 and the person in bona fide control of the agency Maria Josephina Intini was also fined $2,500 for failing to properly supervise the agency for a period of 23 months, in breach of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act and Code of Conduct for Agents and Sales Representatives.
In May 2013, Ms Intini resigned her position as Director of the company leaving only one Director who did not have a real estate agent’s licence and was only licensed as a sales representative. The Act requires that an agency must have at least one director who is a licensed real estate agent. Ms Intini remained the person in bona fide control over the relevant period, and was re-appointed as Director in April 2015 after the breach was uncovered by Consumer Protection during a routine compliance check.
The action was not prompted by any complaints from consumers and the failures to comply with the Act were unintentional. The agency had received a warning in June 2012 when it failed to have a person in bona fide control for two months.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said the onus is on real estate agencies to be aware of the laws covering their business operations.
“In this case, the agency had been previously warned about the issue so they should have been well aware of their obligations,” Mr Hillyard said.
“While there was no consumer detriment, it is in the interests of consumers that agencies comply with the laws which are designed to maintain high standards within the property industry and to protect consumers.”
More information on the obligations of real estate agents and sales representatives is available on the Consumer Protection website: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/cp/realestate or enquiries can be made by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
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