An estate agent has been reprimanded and had his licence suspended for six months, after failing to have his trust accounts audited and meet conditions attached to his licence.
In September 2015, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) found that Joel Phillip Murray, 41, of Berwick, contravened the Estate Agents Act 1980 (the Act) and the Estate Agents (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2008, by failing to:
- audit his trust account for five consecutive years between 2010 and 2014
- lodge copies with the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria as required by the Act
- exercise due skill, care and diligence in performing his functions as an estate agent.
Mr Murray's licence was suspended for three months and was made subject to a condition that, on or before 19 October in each of 2015, 2016 and 2017, he must notify the Director in writing whether or not he has complied with his trust account audit and lodging requirements for the previous financial year.
Mr Murray failed to have his trust account audited in 2015 as required by the Act. He breached his licence condition by not notifying the Director about his non-compliance with the audit obligation.
VCAT reprimanded Mr Murray for unprofessional conduct and ordered his licence be suspended for six months, effective 14 November 2016.
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Hearing date: 7 September 2016