A Western Australian woman took money from her employer to get her real estate registration certificate, but she never showed up for the training course.
Jane Ford has been fined $2,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly $350 by the Perth Magistrates Court for falsely operating as a property manager without the proper registration.
Ms Ford worked for a Willetton property management company where she started as an administrative assistant in early 2015.
The agency gave her money to complete her training to get her certificate of registration so she could become a property manager, but she failed to go to any of the training courses to meet the qualification requirements.
The court heard how she supplied her employer with a certificate of registration that had her name on it, but it has the registration number of another person.
In the nine months following August 2018, Ms Ford negotiated and signed six lease agreement on behalf of her employer.
As she was not legally registered, so her actions breached the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.
Consumer Protection found she was acting without registration when it visited the agency in February last year. The visit led to the company ending Ms Ford’s employment in April 2019.
During the sentencing, Magistrate Scaddan acknowledged the severe nature of the offence, which involved “active dishonesty”.
The licensing and registration system is designed to keep dishonest people out of the industry, Consumer Protection commissioner Lanie Chopping said.
“Ms Ford’s deception undermined the system that aims to ensure that only suitably qualified people of good character work in the real estate industry in WA,” Ms Chopping said.
“Consumer Protection conducts a wide range of compliance visits and checks throughout the year, so any unlicensed activity will eventually be detected and appropriate action taken against any individuals or agencies who break the law.
“Since 1 January this year, the maximum fine for this type of offence has risen from $3,000 to $25,000, so there is a much greater incentive for real estate agents and sales reps to do the right thing.”