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Property industry breaches and penalties

Unlicensed work

Unlicensed property agent work is against the law.

Offence Maximum penalty

Working without a licence or registration

$25,230 or 2 years imprisonment

Employing a person who in unlicensed and unregistered

$25,230

Selling, hiring or lending out a licence or registration

$25,230 or 2 years imprisonment

Dealing with licences

Serious offences

We will cancel your licence if you’re convicted of:

  • violent offences (including threats to use violence)
  • fraud or dishonesty offences
  • drug trafficking
  • extortion
  • arson
  • unlawful stalking
  • an offence of a sexual nature.

You will have 14 days to return your licence to us. The maximum fine for failing to do so is $12,615.

Change of details

You must advise us in writing within 14 days about any changes to:

  • personal details
  • any aspect of your licence.

The maximum fine for failing to do so is $12,615.

Produce licence on request

Offence Maximum penalty

Failing to show a licence or certificate of registration to an inspector

$25,230

Failing to show a copy of a licence or certificate of registration to a potential buyer, client or other party after they ask to see it

$12,615

Substitute licensee

You must follow the rules when appointing a substitute licensee. If you do not, you risk being fined.

Offence Maximum penalty

Not having the consent and evidence of appointment at the office

$12,615

Not lodging extension of appointment substitute licence for more than 30 days

$25,230

Acting as licensee while you have a substitute appointed

$25,230

Person in charge

Offence Maximum penalty

Not having a licensee or registered salesperson in charge of place of business

$25,230 (individual)
$12,615 (corporation)

Having a real estate salesperson in charge of a place of business if their conditions or registration prohibit this

$25,230 (individual)
$12,615 (corporation)

Documentation

You must make sure that you:

  • complete all of your documents correctly
  • give copies to consumers when the law says you need to.

Appointment

Offence Maximum penalty

Acting for a client without a written appointment to act

$25,230

Not giving a copy of the appointment to act

$25,230

Acting for more than 1 party to a transaction

$25,230

Not explaining the relevant details of a sole or exclusive agency appointment

$25,230

Supply of documents

Offence Maximum penalty

Failing to include the warning statement in the required section of a sale contract

$25,230

Disclosure

Offence Maximum penalty

Non-disclosure of benefit to buyer

$25,230

Not disclosing a beneficial interest to a seller

$25,230 or 3 years imprisonment

Charging a buyer’s premium on goods connected to a real property without getting the consent of the owner and/or not disclosing a buyer's premium is payable on goods

$25,230

Commission

Offence Maximum penalty

Claiming commission worked out on an amount more than the actual sale price

$25,230

Retaining or suing for commission when not entitled (for example, not licensed or not authorised to act)

$25,230

Trust account offences

It is in an offence to steal or misuse trust monies. You risk a fine and imprisonment if you break the law.

Trust money

Offence Maximum penalty

Wrongful conversion and false accounts

$12,615 or 5 years imprisonment

Unauthorised use of trust account

$25,230 or 2 years imprisonment

Trust monies are not banked immediately (to trust account)

$25,230 or 2 years imprisonment

Banking of non-trust monies to a trust account

$25,230 or 1 year imprisonment

Licensee does not account to client

$25,230 or 2 years imprisonment

Audit reports

Offence Maximum penalty

Failing to appoint an auditor

$25,230 or 1 year imprisonment

Failing to lodge audit report within time limit

$25,230 or 2 years imprisonment

Failing to lodge a final audit within 2 months of ceasing to be a principle licensee

$25,230 or 2 years imprisonment

Offences by auditors

Offence Maximum penalty

Auditor does not file advice immediately of irregularities to Chief Executive

$25,230 or 1 year imprisonment

Auditor fails to notify Chief Executive when denied access to other records

$25,230 or 1 year imprisonment

Auditor fails to supply report to licensee

$25,230 or 1 year imprisonment

Inspector's powers

Inspectors have the legal authority to make sure that you don’t break the law. You must follow their lawful directions, or you risk a fine.

Offence Maximum penalty

Failure to comply with warrant, produce documents or provide information to an inspector

$25,230

Failure to give name and address to an inspector in certain circumstances

$6,307

Enforceable undertaking

An enforceable undertaking is:

  • a written promise by a business not to keep breaking the law
  • an alternative to court action.

Find out more about enforceable undertakings

Last updated
30 June 2017
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