The Supreme Court of Western Australia has dismissed a former real estate agent’s appeal against a $1,350 fine imposed on him by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).
Ronald George Smith, who operated the former business Exclusive Waterfront Properties Pty Ltd, was fined in May last year over breaches of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act and the Code of Conduct for Agents and Sales Representatives, according to a statement from the WA Department of Commerce.
The former Real Estate and Business Agents Board (REBA) had taken action against Mr Smith whose business was involved in the marketing of three lots of land in Ravenswood in May 2008.
The SAT heard that Mr Smith's former company had failed to deposit funds received from a vendor into its trust account, failed to supply all relevant information that would satisfy the vendor that expenses had been properly incurred and retained reimbursement for advertising expenses which was not agreed to in writing.
The SAT fined Mr Smith for failing to properly supervise the business.
On 16 March 2012, the Supreme Court dismissed Mr Smith's subsequent appeal, on the basis that it did not raise any question of law and would also have been dismissed on its merits. The Court held that it was an absolute obligation of real estate agents to pay into a trust account all monies received on behalf of others regarding transactions.
Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said in a statement that the outcome of this case and the dismissal of the appeal clearly demonstrate that all real estate agents must, without exception, comply with the law in regard to the handling of clients' funds in the process of advertising and selling property.