Monday, May 3, 2010

Bad Onsite Agent

Office of Fair Trading - Minister's Statement:
10 year ban for real estate employee

An investigation by the Office of Fair Trading has resulted in a Kangaroo Point-based resident letting agent and his company being banned from holding licences under the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 for ten years after ripping off unit owners.

Minister for Fair Trading Peter Lawlor said Leigh Gregory Craig, who was also fined $2500, was found guilty by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal of failing to follow his clients’ instructions and producing false invoices. His company Brass Properties No 1 Pty Ltd was also banned for 10 years and fined $3,000.

“Mr Craig first came to the attention of Fair Trading officers after they received a complaint from a unit owner who was falsely charged a $132 fee for the retrieval of a set of car keys accidentally dropped down a lift shaft,” Mr Lawlor said. “Following an investigation, Mr Craig was also found to have advertised Bridgeport Apartments for short-term letting which flies in the face of body corporate by-laws which impose a minimum period of six months.

“He deliberately misled unit owners by failing to disclose the higher than usual fees he was charging renters, which at times was double the normal amount. This additional income was not passed on to the unit owners. This type of behaviour has no place in Queensland’s real estate industry. Queenslanders deserve to know they are dealing with reputable and licensed agents,” he said.

"This decision is a clear reminder to the real estate industry to act responsibly. If an agent chooses to breach the law by deceiving their customers, they risk the loss of their licence, reputation and livelihood. The legislation is there to protect businesses and clients, and must be complied with. Licensees caught doing the wrong thing will be penalised."

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