Melbourne estate agency director Frank Valentic has had his licence suspended for six months for contraventions of professional conduct regulations relating to the sale of a four-unit development in Malvern.
Mr Valentic, 46, of Elwood, and his company, Advantage Property Consulting Pty Ltd (ACN: 100 010 179), were also penalised a total of $7,000 at a hearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The tribunal ordered the licence suspension to take effect from 1 April 2016.
Advantage Property was ordered to begin a three-year compliance, education and training program to ensure it complies with the Estate Agents Act 1980 and the Estate Agents (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2008.
Consumer Affairs Victoria took action against Mr Valentic and Advantage Property following a complaint from a purchaser of one of the units.
The tribunal found Mr Valentic and Advantage Property had breached their legal duties, in that:
- Mr Valentic appointed Advantage Property as owners corporation manager even though he had no authority to do so
- Advantage Property instructed purchasers to backdate legal documents
- Advantage Property required purchasers to use a particular solicitor to undertake conveyancing work
- Mr Valentic twice entered a unit to conduct an inspection, without the tenant’s knowledge or consent
- Advantage Property charged two purchasers a ‘consulting fee’ of $13,750 for services that should have been better described to them
- purchasers were assured they would have exclusive access to part of a courtyard that was actually common property. Advantage Property was not in a position to make such an assurance, as such an arrangement required agreement by the owners corporation after settlement.
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