Dishonest agent kicked out of industry

A Perth real estate agent who lied on his licence application has been slapped with a five-year ban.

Consumer Protection WA said Gary James Douglas of Tuart Hill had his licence and triennial certificate cancelled by the State Administrative Tribunal after it was discovered he provided false information in his application.

Mr Douglas was banned from holding a licence for five years, and was also reprimanded by the tribunal and ordered to pay costs of $1,000.

The regulator said the fraudulent application included an employment reference letter that had been forged by Mr Douglas.

It also included “false statements regarding the dates of previous employment and experience”, according to Consumer Protection.

The application also contained “false representations relating to the number of real estate transactions that Mr Douglas had conducted which, in fact, were negotiated by another agent”.

Mr Douglas was also guilty of providing his professional referee with a business reference letter that contained false information, Consumer Protection said.

Acting commissioner for consumer protection David Hillyard said the basis of the licensing system is to ensure that only fit and proper people work in the real estate industry.

“Honesty and integrity are critical to the assessment of the character of an applicant, so to provide false information in an application is a major failure of that basic test,” he said.

“Consumer Protection relies on past work experience and peer review as indicators of an applicant’s knowledge and competency to carry on the business of a real estate agent, so the information supplied needs to be true and accurate.

“False information in applications is always likely to be discovered. Such deceptive conduct won’t be tolerated and the appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.”

Mr Douglas was granted his real estate agent’s licence and triennial certificate in January 2015.

Fair Trading did not disclose where he was working at the time of the breach.

[Related: Court nails real estate boss after long-running pursuit]

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