Stacey Moseley and Simon Parker
A Melbourne-based real estate agency has had its licence cancelled by Consumer Affairs Victoria, with receivers also appointed to the business last week, Real Estate Business can confirm.
Real Estate Business was contacted by a concerned landlord who, upon trying to contact the Foxtons Estate Agency in Northcote, found to their surprise that the business' telephone had been disconnected.
Following an enquiry to Consumer Affairs Victoria, Real Estate Business can confirm that Tobiahs Pty Ltd, trading as Foxtons Estate Agents, was ordered to cease operating as an estate agency business.
“In response to concerns raised about the agency, on 16 September 2012 the Minister for Consumer Affairs used his powers under section 89(2) of the Estate Agents Act 1980 to direct Tobiahs Pty Ltd trading as Foxtons Estate Agents to cease carrying on its estate agency business,” a statement from Consumer Affairs Victoria said.
“The Minister appointed Mr James Keeran, a licensed estate agent, to carry on that estate agency business with a view to winding it up in the interests of all persons for whom the estate agent was acting.”
“Consumer Affairs Victoria is aware that on 1 October 2012 Mr Nicholas Martin and Mr David McEvoy of PPB Advisory were appointed as Receivers and Managers by a creditor of Tobiahs Pty Ltd.
Consumer Affairs Victoria has directed concerned landlords or tenants to contact Mr Keeran or his staff on 0416 037 351.
The news comes at a busy time for the state regulator, with a number of high profile fraud cases involving real estate agents hitting the headlines.
This included the case against former real estate agent’s representative Zoran Rakocevic, who was banned from operating for five years for actions that were described as ‘deliberate, calculated and carried out over a number of months’.
Furthermore, on October 5, Consumer Affairs Victoria reported that real estate agents Kon Balasis and Victorian Realty Group Pty Ltd (VRG), operating as CENTURY 21 Craigieburn, were permanently disqualified from holding estate agents’ licences after breaking the law on trust accounts.