A property management boss has revealed that being punished by the regulator was a blessing in disguise as it forced him to restructure his business.
Perth firm Rental Solutions was fined $3,000 after it “failed to keep full and accurate trust account records and failed to exercise due skill, care and diligence in the maintenance of the trust account” during 2011/2012, according to the WA Department of Commerce.
Director Kim Turner was fined $1,000 after he “admitted that he failed to properly supervise the business”, the Department of Commerce said, although no clients were left out of pocket.
Mr Turner told Residential Property Manager his lack of administrative skills forced him to place full trust in employees, which ended up backfiring.
“I sought what I believed to be the industry’s finest property managers and was often ridiculed by colleagues for the number of staff versus properties and my wages bill in excess of $300,000,” he said.
“Bottom line is: paying lots of money to supposedly highly qualified people is not enough.”
Mr Turner said the incident had forced him to master administration skills and take control of his trust accounts.
“I vow that I will never employ a property manager with experience again: it's my way or the highway, as they say,” he said.
“In short, what seemed to be my worst nightmare has been a blessing as the team and I at Rental Solutions are very excited about the future.”
Consumer protection commissioner Anne Driscoll said it’s essential that trust accounts are operated according to the law to maintain the public’s confidence in the industry.
Ms Driscoll said that while there was no monetary loss for clients in this case, it still stands as a warning for PMs to be aware of the procedures relating to the handling bond and rent payments.
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