Unlicensed property management firm fined (Massland Asset Management Pty Ltd)
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A property management company has been fined $5,000 for operating in Western Australia without a licence.
Massland Asset Management Pty Ltd (company) had applied for a licence in 2013 and 2014. In both instances, the Commissioner for Consumer Protection requested further information to complete the process; the company however failed to respond.
Despite not obtaining a licence and triennial certificate the company managed seven residential properties around Perth at Eden Hill, Mount Hawthorn, Baldivis, Manning and three in Rockingham.
The owners of the properties reported issues with the management service including unpaid Water Corporation bills.
The sole director of the company, Mr Mark John Rolton, was based in the Eastern States. Mr Rolton should have been aware that the company needed a licence to operate as a real estate agent conducting property management functions in Western Australia given the licence applications that were submitted.
Following the conclusion of the prosecution proceedings against the company, Mr Rolton has applied for the company to be deregistered and is no longer operating in Western Australia.
On 4 March 2016, the Perth Magistrates Court fined Massland Asset Management Pty Ltd $5,000 for operating in WA without a licence and triennial certificate, a breach of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act 1978. The company was also ordered to pay costs of $1,002.45.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said real estate agents must be licensed in each jurisdiction in which they operate.
“Property is a substantial investment and people place a lot of trust in real estate agents and property managers to do their job properly. Licensing ensures the agent and manager are fit and proper to carry out the duties they are hired for,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Operating in WA without a licence is a serious offence, so interstate businesses must ensure they have the necessary licences and registrations in place before they advertise their services and conduct business here.
“Real estate and tenancy laws can vary from state to state, so agents operating across state and territory borders should check to ensure they are complying with the relevant real estate and tenancy laws.”
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Cecilia Broderick (08) 6552 9366 or 0423 846 397
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