Eastern Suburbs real estate agents disqualified over trust monies
Fair Trading Minister Anthony Roberts advised that the licence of a Potts Point real estate business had been cancelled after an investigation by Fair Trading into the company’s activities found irregularities in managing trust funds for various clients and strata corporations.
Mr Roberts said Deeds Not Words Pty Ltd, trading as Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, had also been permanently disqualified from being involved in the direction, management and conduct of the business of a licensed real estate agent.
The company also traded in the Newcastle area as Marquette Turner Strata Management.
Two directors and former licensees of the corporation, Michael James Marquette and Simon Robert Turner, have also been disqualified from being involved in the real estate business for periods of 15 years and 12 years respectively.
Mr Roberts said Fair Trading estimated the trust monies had been accessed over a two year period without authorisation.
“This company and two of its directors were not able to account for these funds, which they administered on behalf of clients,” he said.
“This is a serious matter and the punishment is entirely appropriate.”
Mr Roberts said those property owners whose trust monies were misappropriated had been referred to the Property Services Compensation Fund, which was set up to help people out of pocket because an agent failed to account for money or other valuable property held in trust.
“The Administrative Decisions Tribunal previously dismissed applications by the company and its two directors to overturn NSW Fair Trading’s decision,” he said.
“Consumers expect real estate agents to be ethical and professional.
“Fair Trading will continue to conduct regular visits across the state to real estate agencies to ensure trust account monies are being appropriately handled and consumers’ interests are protected.”
Mr Roberts said information about the responsibilities of real estate practitioners was laid out clearly on the NSW Fair Trading website – Real estate agents, which also holds a register of those disqualified from business.
“You can also call Fair Trading on 13 32 20,” he said
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