Mistakes made on a property sale contract have resulted in a York real estate agency and its operator being reprimanded and fined a total of $6,000 by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).
Avon Districts Professionals Pty Ltd and supervising agent Nicola Di Giulio were each fined $3,000 and both were ordered to pay $700 in costs for breaching the Real Estate and Business Agents and Sales Representatives Code of Conduct by not exercising due skill, care and diligence.
The errors included:
- The agency failed to carry out any title or strata plan searches prior to and after the Selling Agreement for the sale of a York unit being signed by the property owners in May 2016;
- An Offer and Acceptance contract signed in August 2017 by the property owners and the purchaser had the wrong address;
- The purchaser was not provided with strata title information related to the property as required by the Strata Titles Act; and
- Prior to the settlement of the property in September 2017, the address was corrected on the sales contract but the parties did not initial the changes as is required.
Mr Di Giulio told the SAT the errors were inadvertent and the agency was operating under great stress at the time of the offences. He said action has since been taken to improve practices and procedures in the operation of the business.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said agents must comply with all requirements of the law at all times.
“While the mistakes in this case appear minor and didn’t affect the sale of the property, they did represent major breaches of the laws that are designed to protect both buyers and sellers of real estate in WA,” Mr Hillyard said.
“Agents must ensure that they have the proper procedures in place to prevent any errors being made which could result in disciplinary action.”