Fake agent found guilty by court

The regulator has successfully brought a case against a second rogue agent linked to rent-to-buy property firm Ezibuyhomes.

Consumer Affairs Victoria said that Benjamin David Chislett, 39, of Highton, has been ordered to stop operating as a real estate agent until licensed to do so.

It came after Consumer Affairs took action against Mr Chislett in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

“The court found that Mr Chislett engaged in estate agent activities without being licensed to do so, by permitting two companies of which he was an officer to engage in estate agent activity without a licence,” the regulator said.

“The court also found that Mr Chislett had engaged in false and misleading conduct by falsely representing that he had a licence to sell property.”

Consumer Affairs said that Mr Chislett permitted Creative Property Australia to advertise properties for sale on Ezibuyhomes.com.au and enter into negotiations for the sale of real estate without a licence.

He also permitted Benny Bull Pty Ltd to list properties on realestate.com.au without a licence.

Ezibuyhomes is the trading name of Benny Bull, which entered liquidation in July.

Ezibuyhomes was a firm that marketed rent-to-own homes. Its Twitter account, which remains active, describes Ezibuyhomes as “the place where you can buy your own home without a bank loan”.

Rent-to-buy schemes allow purchasers to bypass lenders by making mortgage-style repayments directly to the vendor.

The regulator has been circling Ezibuyhomes and Mr Chislett for at least a year.

In November 2014, Consumer Affairs launched criminal proceedings against former Highton agent James Allan Monaghan. In April, it accepted an enforceable undertaking from Mr Monaghan after he “admitted to aiding and abetting unlicensed agent Ezibuyhomes” by allowing listings to be placed on its behalf on realestate.com.au.

In July 2015, Consumer Affairs announced that it had launched legal action against Mr Chislett, Creative Property Australia and Benny Bull as part of a nationwide crackdown against property spruikers.

The Melbourne Magistrates’ Court has now ruled that Mr Chislett cannot act as an agent or represent himself as an agent until he is licensed to do so, according to the regulator.

Consumer Affairs said that Mr Chislett had been ordered to give it a series of documents, including financial documents, completed sales and rental files, and documents relating to all joint ventures in which he was involved. He was also ordered to pay costs of $6,300.

[Related: Regulators target unethical real estate practices]

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