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Bayside real estate agent suspended and fined $10,000

10 January 2020

A former Cleveland real estate agent has been reprimanded and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) following proceedings initiated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

Pamela Dawn Neilson faced disciplinary action after she failed to notify the OFT that she had become bankrupt, gave false information to the OFT when applying to renew her real estate agent licence, and had continued to sell properties while unlicensed.

In addition to a $10,000 fine, Ms Neilson was also suspended from holding a certificate under the Property Occupations Act 2014 (the Act) for four months.

The Tribunal heard Ms Neilson had held a real estate agent licence since 2005 but failed to inform the OFT when she became bankrupt in October 2015, as is required under the Act.

Ms Neilson’s bankruptcy made her immediately unsuitable to hold a real estate licence however between October 2015 and January 2017 she continued to work in a real estate salesperson capacity, selling 21 properties.

The Tribunal also heard that on 29 September 2016 Ms Neilson lodged a licence renewal application, which included a signed declaration that she was not currently bankrupt. Ms Neilson eventually advised the OFT of her bankruptcy on 16 December 2016.

On 20 December 2019 the Tribunal released its decision in this matter. It found Ms Neilson had conducted herself in a way that was unprofessional but in determining penalty noted she had subsequently self-reported her conduct, had cooperated with the OFT’s investigation and had accepted the disciplinary grounds.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said real estate agents needed to remember the importance of acting in accordance with their licensing requirements.

“Agents must be honest about their circumstances and aware of their obligations,” Mr Bauer said.

More information on the obligations of real estate agents in Queensland is available on the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.