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A Willetton property manager who operated without a licence and failed to lodge eight tenancy bonds with the Bond Administrator was fined a total of $18,000 by the Perth Magistrates Court on 3 April 2023.
Bobby Joe Townsend, formerly Buscher, trading as PPM Private Property Management, was fined $10,000 for being unlicensed and $1,000 on each of eight charges of failing to lodge security bonds. He was also ordered to pay costs of $5,718.16.
Between 2017 and 2021, Mr Townsend acted as an unlicensed real estate agent in breach of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act. He managed and collected commissions in relation to five properties in Dawesville, Huntingdale, Port Kennedy, Champion Lakes and Eglinton.
Mr Townsend entered into property management agreements, found tenants, negotiated and collected rents, paid water bills and carried out property inspections and repairs.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Trish Blake said, by being unlicensed, Mr Townsend was undermining the industry’s professional standards.
“The licensing system is in place to protect tenants and landlords by ensuring that only suitably qualified and trained professionals are involved in the real estate industry in WA.
“Licence holders are also bound by a code of conduct that underpins high professional standards.
“A key obligation when holding a licence is having to complete professional development training that is aimed at assisting industry participants update their knowledge and skills in the areas of industry developments, legislative changes and work practices.
“Tenants and landlords should only deal with licensed professionals. If consumers deal with unlicensed operators, their funds are at risk as they are not protected by the fidelity guarantees provided by law.
“Tenants and landlords should alert us if they suspect the agent or property manager they are doing business with is not licensed.”
More information on the obligations of real estate agents, sales representatives and property managers is available on the Consumer Protection website or enquiries can be made by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / email@example.com