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Former Gold Coast property agent’s disqualification confirmed

10 February 2020

A Gold Coast property agent who was fined $3,000 and disqualified from holding a real estate licence or salesperson’s certificate for three years has had her appeal dismissed by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

The appeal by Sarah Louise Penney-Filippini, of Heather Filippini Island Realty, followed disciplinary proceedings initiated by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in 2016.

The tribunal found Ms Penney-Fillipini had failed to meet several requirements relating to her business trust account; and for employing her mother, Ms Heather Filippini, who had been permanently disqualified from the industry since 2009.

On 9 December 2019, QCAT dismissed Ms Penney-Filippini’s appeal and upheld the original decision, confirming the $3,000 fine and disqualification of Ms Penney-Filippini from holding a real estate licence or salesperson certificate from 9 February 2020 until early 2023.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said agents who employed an unlicensed sales person were not only unprofessional but contributed to a breakdown in consumer confidence in the industry.

“By law, agents must conduct themselves and their businesses appropriately and always in the best interests of their clients,” Mr Bauer said.

“A licensed real estate agent employing someone they were well aware had been disqualified from the industry is very concerning.”

Ms Sarah Penney-Filippini had previously been subject to disciplinary action for employing her mother, Ms Heather Filippini, while unlicensed.

Consumers can check if a person has a licence or registration using the free search on the OFT website at www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.

Further information on the obligations of property agents is available from www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).