A former real estate sales representative has been permanently banned from holding a Western Australian certificate of registration after the State Administrative Tribunal found she fabricated a series of purchase offers on Perth properties.
Gayla Currie worked at Century 21 Max Comben real estate agency in Morley for five months without a valid certificate and presented more than 20 fake contracts of offer to four separate property owners.
In addition to the ban, SAT fined Ms Curry $1,500 and she was ordered to pay costs of $1,200 in SAT orders.
Ms Currie worked under sales supervisor Maxwell Comben for about a year from early 2015, with her registration expiring in October 2015.
The former sales representative failed to renew her certificate and handled the sale of four properties in Perth’s northern suburbs during that time.
Ms Currie presented false contracts to each property owner, with one allowing a tenant to break a lease because they thought the offer was real.
Consumer Protection commissioner David Hillyard said the harsh penalty was necessary.
“A life ban is a rare but appropriate penalty for someone working in the real estate industry in WA who engages in serious deceptive conduct over a nine-month period, resulting in clients suffering financial losses and lost opportunities to sell their properties to real buyers,” he said.
In August this year, Ms Currie’s employer, Sakar Pty Ltd, was fined $2,000 while her supervisor, Mr Comben, was issued a $3,000 fine for breaching the Real Estate and Business Agents Act.
Mr Hillyard said Mr Comben’s behaviour was also unacceptable.
“As supervisor, Mr Comben has the responsibility to ensure his staff members are acting in accordance with the law,” he said
“For this deception to occur unnoticed over such a long period of time shows a serious lack of proper supervision on Mr Comben’s part and, as a result, property owners who put their trust in the agency have endured great inconvenience and financial disadvantage.
“If you are a supervisor of staff or the licensee of a real estate agency, it is your duty to carry out proper and regular checks to make sure that all staff members are complying with every aspect of the law and are not engaging in dishonest conduct.”