Government fines and bans letting agent for ripping off Queenslanders

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

A Brisbane letting agent has been fined more than $20,000 and banned from working in the real estate industry for five years after ripping off Queensland clients.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said taking advantage of Queenslanders will not be tolerated, and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) will always investigate these scammers.

“There is no place in the real estate industry for people who do not comply with the law,” Minister Fentiman said.

“As a result of the actions of this person, a number of clients didn’t receive their rental money and their carparks were hired out and the agent pocketed the proceeds. Additionally, clients were wrongly charged for cleaning and linen hire,” Minister Fentiman said.

“The tribunal heard that the business committed a number of offences including failing to disburse rental monies to clients and collecting $7,032 for hired carparks within the complex which was used for the agent’s own personal use.

“The agent also charged clients for unauthorised cleaning services and linen hire totalling $1,086.

“I am pleased both the corporation and the agent have been disqualified from the industry for five years and the agent has also been banned from being an executive officer of any corporation licensed under the Property Occupations Act 2014 for five years.

“I also welcome Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal’s (QCAT) decision to disqualify the corporation and agent from holding any form of property licence or certificate.

The agent and their business, neither of which can be named for legal reasons, were taken to QCAT by the OFT and ordered to pay $20,856 in fines and compensation.

“People trust real estate agents with their most valuable asset, their property, and the OFT will continue to take agents to task if they are found to be doing the wrong thing,” Minster Fentiman said.

In making the decision, QCAT Member Bevan Hughes highlighted that the conduct by the agent was more than a mere negligence and showed a repeated course of conduct.

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