Cairns real estate agent charged with 13 offences
- Palm Cove real estate agent fined $8,500 after pleading guilty to trust account offences and unauthorised expenses
- Real estate agents are reminded to ensure they only charge clients for expenses they have been approved to incur
Cairns real estate agent Jocelyn Anne Strangman and her company Jokima Pty Ltd will have to pay over $13,300 in fines and compensation after pleading guilty to a total of 13 charges laid by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) relating to trust account breaches and charging clients for expenses they did not authorise.
The matter was heard in the Cairns Magistrates Court on 11 August 2023.
Ms Strangman and Jokima Pty Ltd were fined a total of $8,500, and Ms Strangman was ordered to pay $4,894.69 back to the clients who had been inappropriately charged for expenses.
The court heard that the company was not authorised to deduct fees and expenses on several properties, including expenses for wifi installation.
In total, Ms Strangman and Jokima Pty Ltd were conjointly charged with 12 breaches of the Property Occupations Act 2014 and the Agents Financial Administration Act 2014. Ms Strangman was also charged with one additional offence after failing to lodge an audit report.
Real estate salespeople, agents and consumers may report suspected misconduct to the OFT at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 74 68.
A free search is available on the OFT’s website to check whether an agent is licensed.
Quotes attributable to Commissioner for Fair Trading Victoria Thomson:
“This outcome is a timely reminder for real estate agents to ensure they have been correctly appointed and all paperwork is up to date before they charge fees for their services, Ms Thomson said.
“Real estate professionals hold a position of trust and work with large sums of other people’s money, so it is essential they abide by the law and follow appropriate processes at all times.
“The OFT will continue to investigate and take action against any real estate agent who is not doing the right thing by their clients.”