Agents should warn their clients to be on the lookout for dodgy conveyancers, after a NSW Fair trading enquiry led to a court slapping an unlicensed south-west Sydney conveyancer with two 15 month suspended sentences and $7,567 in fines late last week.
Wollongong Local Court convicted Jeanette Ilene Adams of operating an unlicensed conveyancing business in the Camden and Campbelltown areas last Friday.
In addition to being unlicensed, the court found Ms Adams had used a false document to support her application for a full conveyancer's licence, in contravention of the Crimes Act 1900.
Fair Trading minister Virginia Judge said people who want to practice conveyancing in NSW must be licensed with Fair Trading.
"Conveyancers who hold unrestricted licences can perform the full scope of conveyancing work, including preparing legal documentation and providing legal advice," she said.
"Ms Adams operated dishonestly and illegally in an industry that requires total integrity.
"Consumers have a right to expect that people who are looking after their purchase or sale of a property will be appropriately qualified and be licensed to represent them in what is likely to be one of the largest transactions of their lives," she said.
"Consumers can check the validity of a conveyancer's credentials by checking their licence details with Fair Trading.".
President of the Australian Institute of Conveyancers in NSW Terry Allen said the body supported the action taken by NSW Fair Trading.
"Anyone who gets involved in activities such as unlicensed trading should be prosecuted," Mr Allen said.