A Sunshine estate agency and its director have been found to have breached the Estate Agents Act 1980 and its Regulations.
A hearing of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) found that G L Lee Real Estate Pty Ltd (ACN 007 154 823) and its officer in effective control Mr Quoc Hung Ly, 57, failed to:
- have the company’s trust accounts audited between 2008 and 2011
- lodge copies of the agency’s trust account audit reports within the required time
- keep full and accurate accounting records
- exercise all due skill, care and diligence in performing their functions as an estate agent.
The tribunal found that the company and Mr Ly engaged in conduct that was unprofessional or detrimental to the reputation or interests of the estate agency industry.
The tribunal also found that Mr Ly failed to comply with his statutory duties as officer in effective control of the company.
Mr Ly and the company may have their licences suspended if they do not provide an unqualified trust account audit report to Consumer Affairs Victoria within 90 days. In those circumstances, they also face having their licences cancelled if they do not produce an unqualified audit report within a specified period.
VCAT also ordered Mr Ly and G L Lee Real Estate to, among other things:
- enter into an undertaking to stop using their in-house accounting software within 90 days of the hearing unless it, or some other trust accounting software, is certified as legally compliant by an approved auditor
- each pay a penalty of $4000 into the Victorian Property Fund.
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