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Agency cops $200k fine for unlicensed trading

By Juliet Helmke
19 April 2024 | 9 minute read
melbourne magistrates court new reb x7l97v

The Melbourne business which is based in Sunshine, 12 kilometres west of Melbourne’s CBD, was found to have operated without a licence between December 2020 and April 2021.

Kamn Real Estate Pty Ltd, which traded as Area Specialist Sunshine, faced three charges of unlicensed trading, trust account breaches, and failing to meet an inspector’s investigation requirements, being found guilty of all three offences by the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

As a penalty for the actions, the business was ordered to pay $197,740, forfeiting the commission or profit they made while operating without a licence. The fine must be paid to the Victorian Property Fund, which compensates consumers who have lost money due to the misuse of trust funds by a real estate professional or conveyancer.

The agency must also pay an additional $5,000 fine for the three charges on which it was convicted.

The agency was hauled before the court by Consumer Affairs Victoria, which began an investigation of the business after receiving a consumer complaint.

In August 2023, the company appeared to still be trading, but entered voluntary administration in December 2023.

Nicole Rich, director of Consumer Affairs Victoria, said the agency welcomed the outcome, hoping that it would serve as a reminder that the regulator would not tolerate agencies breaking the law.

Rich also noted that agents and business owners who circumvent the law are in the minority.

“The majority of estate agencies, and agents, comply with the law and meet the considerable responsibilities that go with working in the industry,” she said.

“We will continue to investigate and act against agents and agencies that fail to meet those responsibilities and put clients’ money at risk”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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