Law catches up with unlicensed agent

A Carseldine resident letting agent has been permanently disqualified from holding a licence or registration certificate under the Property Occupations Act 2014 and fined $3000.

Maree Keryn Tynan, who was the sole director of M & R Tynan Managements Pty Ltd and in charge of the residential letting business run by the company, pleaded guilty to charges in Sandgate Magistrates Court (1 December 2021) brought after an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

She was fined $3000 for acting as a resident letting agent whilst unlicensed and using a trust account when not licensed to do so between 01 April 2020 and 7 July 2020. A conviction was not recorded.

The court heard that Ms Tynan and M & R Tynan Management Pty Ltd were first issued resident letting licences on 9 July 2010 and commenced operating a business on site. A trust account had been opened, under the corporation’s name, to handle monetary transactions on behalf of the residents and owners.

On 9 July 2013 both Ms Tynan and the corporation’s licences expired after not being renewed. Investigations by the Office of Fair Trading in late 2016 resulted in enforcement action being taken against Ms Tynan and the Corporation for trading whilst unlicensed for a period of 2013 to 2016.

The corporation obtained a new licence on 19 December 2016 which expired on 19 December 2017 and was not renewed. Ms Tynan did not apply for a new licence during this timeframe.

Despite neither Ms Tynan or the corporation holding a licence, and the de-registration of the company by ASIC on 3 November 2019, Ms Tynan and the company continued to function as a resident letting agent and operate the trust account until 6 July 2020.

Commissioner for Fair Trading, Victoria Thomson said it is important that resident letting agents act fairly and lawfully.

“A resident letting agent licence allows a person to rent out and manage units in a building complex, collect rent and operate a trust account,” Ms Thomson said.

“People put their trust in agents to do things by the book when managing their expensive investments, so it is important that they take licensing laws seriously.

“The OFT will continue to take action against individuals who operate as resident letting agents without holding the appropriate licence.”

Resident letting agents can find information about their legislative requirements on the OFT website. The OFT has also produced a guide to assist in managing trust accounts which can be downloaded from the website.

If you are concerned that an agent is operating without the appropriate licence you can do a free licence search on the OFT website.