Real estate agent caught red-handed

An unlicensed real estate agent has been ordered to cough up over $134,000 in fines and compensation after charges were brought by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Alisa Phyllis Davies, from Arana Hills in Brisbane, pleaded guilty to multiple areas of malpractice.

She was fined $6,000 for one count of acting unlicensed as a real estate agent.

Jenas Realty Pty Ltd, of which Ms Davies was sole director, was found guilty and fined $70,000 for misappropriating trust money and a further $50,000 for operating unlicensed and making false claims that it held a current real estate agent licence.

Jenas Realty was also ordered to pay $8,400 in compensation and was permanently disqualified from holding a real estate licence.

The court heard Ms Davies and Jenas Realty had not been licensed since 2004.

In 2012 and 2013, Ms Davies received rent from a tenant but failed to pass those payments on, leaving the landlord $8,400 out of pocket. The monies have not been repaid.

The court also heard that Jenas Realty used its expired real estate agent licence number on correspondence with clients, and in doing so, falsely represented that it was still licensed.

“The Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (PAMDA) requires all persons acting as a real estate agent to hold a valid licence,” the Queensland OFT said in a statement.

“To qualify for a licence, agents need to have completed training requirements and passed suitability checks.

“Agents collecting rents on behalf of property owners must have an approved trust account and abide by rules that protect the interests of property owners.

“The OFT will continue to take appropriate action, including prosecution, against anyone found in breach of their legal obligations under PAMDA,” it added. 

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