A Sunbury real estate business and one of its directors – who is also a licensed estate agent - have been fined a total of $22,000 for serious breaches of the Estate Agents Act 1980, including misleading price advertising or 'underquoting'.
Melbourne Magistrate’s Court found that, while trading as 'The Professionals Sunbury', Du Pont Sung International Properties Pty Ltd engaged in misleading price advertising in relation to the sale of two properties in 2010. The court fined the business a total of $10,000.
Christine Parsons, a director of the company and a licensed estate agent, was found guilty of engaging in misleading price advertising and breaching s55 of the Estate Agents Act 1980.
Ms Parsons was commissioned to sell three lots of land in Sunbury, which were subsequently purchased by Du Pont Sung Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, a company that Ms Parsons was a director and shareholder. Because Ms Parsons was a member of that company under the Estate Agents Act 1980 she was deemed to have a beneficial interest in the purchase.
The court also found Ms Parsons guilty of two breaches of s47C of the Estate Agents Act 1980 in relation to the marketing of two Sunbury properties in May and December 2010.
Ms Parsons was fined $5000 for the breach of section 55 and a total of $7000 for the two breaches of s47C.
The court found Du Pont Sung International Properties Pty Ltd guilty of two breaches of s47C and imposed fines of $5000 on each charge.
The company and Ms Parsons were ordered to pay court costs of $800 each.