An Aubin Grove real estate agent has had his licence and triennial certificate suspended for six months and the agency was fined $5,000 by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) over the misuse of a trust account.
James Ademola Oladejo is the person in bona fide control of Jim’s Realty Pty Ltd. Both the agent and the agency were reprimanded by the SAT.
In September 2016, Mr Oladejo dishonestly withdrew $20,000 from the agency’s trust account to pay personal debts and, in December 2016, made erroneous duplicate payments totalling $10,611.10, in breach of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act. The agency had also failed to balance its trust account for the four month period from September to December 2016.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said Mr Oladejo has been disciplined for his dishonesty and misconduct.
“The sanctions imposed on Mr Oladejo highlight the seriousness of real estate agents withdrawing funds from their trust account for personal purposes,” Mr Hillyard said.
“The unauthorised withdrawal of such a large amount and his errors in accounting are unacceptable and the suspension is more than justified in this case.
“Generally, funds in trust accounts are held on behalf of buyers, tenants and property owners and can sometimes involve large amounts, so there is a need for agents to abide by the strict laws that cover the operation of these accounts and are designed to protect the public.
“Consumer Protection will continue to focus on trust account offences and take action against those agents who put trust monies that belong to the public at risk, including taking disciplinary or prosecution action.”