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A woman who falsely claimed to have a real estate sales representative registration while carrying out the functions of a property manager was convicted, fined $2,000 and ordered to pay costs of $349.50 by the Perth Magistrates Court on 24 January 2020.
Jane Nicole Ford of East Victoria Park began working for a Willetton property management company as an administration assistant in February 2015 and was later paid by the agency to complete her training to obtain a certificate of registration as a real estate sales representative which would allow her to become a property manager.
Without her employer’s knowledge, Ms Ford failed to attend the training and did not obtain the necessary qualifications. However in September 2018 she supplied her employer with a certificate of registration purportedly in her name but using the registration number of another person.
Between August 2018 and April 2019, Ms Ford carried out the duties of a property manager by negotiating and signing six lease agreements on behalf of her employer while not being registered, in breach of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.
Consumer Protection officers conducting a compliance visit to the agency in February 2019 discovered the unregistered activities of Ms Ford whose employment was terminated in April 2019.
In sentencing, Magistrate Scadden acknowledged the serious nature of the offence which involved “active dishonesty”.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Lanie Chopping said the licensing and registration system is designed to keep dishonest people out of the industry.
“Ms Ford’s deception undermined the system that aims to ensure that only suitably qualified people of good character work in the real estate industry in WA.” Ms Chopping said.
“Consumer Protection conducts a wide range of compliance visits and checks throughout the year, so any unlicensed activity will eventually be detected and appropriate action taken against any individuals or agencies who break the law.
“Since 1 January this year, the maximum fine for this type of offence has risen from $3,000 to $25,000 so there is a much greater incentive for real estate agents and sales reps to do the right thing.”
More information regarding whether a person is registered or licensed, including general 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 email@example.com or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / firstname.lastname@example.org