One agent has been fined and banned from the real estate industry for a decade after being found guilty of serious wrongdoing.
Elizabeth Anna Provan, from the Sunshine Coast, was found guilty of wrongfully converting trust money and acting as an unlicensed property agent.
Ms Provan has been banned from the real estate industry for 10 years and has been fined $25,000.
Ms Provan, sole director and former principal licensee of Dicky Beach Real Estate, was handed the sentence by the Caloundra Magistrates Court after charges were brought forward by the Office of Fair Trading for breaches in the Property Occupations Act 2014.
The court heard that the investigation into Ms Provan began in August 2017 after the OFT received several consumer complaints.
The investigation identified that between January and July 2017, $46,793 of rent money received by the agency was converted to Ms Provan’s own use and was not disbursed to its rightful owners.
It was during this same period that Ms Provan advised tenants to deposit rent money into her own personal account, not the agency’s trust account.
In sentencing, the court considered Ms Provan’s breach of trust, lack of remorse and her failure to engage and cooperate with the OFT investigation.
A conviction was recorded against Ms Provan, who failed to appear in court for sentencing.
Fair Trading executive director Brian Bauer said that agents who did not follow the legislation have no place in the industry.
“The OFT will take action against real estate agents who put consumers at financial risk by disregarding their legal obligations,” Mr Bauer said.