Unregistered WA sales rep costs $16k in fines

A North Perth real estate agency, its supervisor, and an unregistered sales representative have been penalized by Western Australia’s State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).

The state’s Consumer Protection agency kicked off the disciplinary action against Realty Lane, Tyson Keene and Danielle McGufficke, following Mr. Keene’s employment by Realty Lane between September 2020 and June 2021.

During that time period, Consumer Protection said,[Mr Keene] carried out the functions of a sales representative and received commission payments while not holding a valid certificate of registration as required by the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.”

As supervisor of the agency (or person in bona fide control), Ms. McGufficke had failed to ensure that Mr. Keene was registered in compliance with the act.

Both Realty Lane and Ms. McGufficke were fined $7,000. Mr. Keene was fined $2,000.

All were formally reprimanded by the SAT on November 16, 2022, with costs of $500 also required to be paid.

Gary Newcombe, speaking in his capacity as commissioner for consumer protection, pointed out that agencies and those in control of them “need to ensure their employees comply with the law at all times”.

Consumer Protection has considered it a reminder to the industry to be aware of their duties under the law, with the commissioner stating: “It’s a well-known and basic requirement that all real estate sales representatives have to be registered with Consumer Protection before working in the industry in WA.”

He added: “It’s an important obligation of agencies and those in bona fide control to confirm that their sales reps hold current certificates of registration, as well as any other relevant employees such as property managers. This includes checking that their registration is renewed before it expires.

Nr Newcombe also noted that the registration system is aimed at maintaining high standards within the industry and ensuring those who work in it are fit and proper people, stressing it as “particularly important considering the large amount of money that is handled by agencies on behalf of their clients”.

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