A former estate agent has had his licence cancelled and been disqualified from holding a licence for three years, after he admitted to a number of allegations made against him at a disciplinary hearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
Michael Andrew John Hoban, 51, of Cobram, is the former director and officer in effective control of Hoban Real Estate Pty Ltd (ACN: 123 488 862), which was a licensed estate agent from 8 May 2007 to 8 May 2015.
Mr Hoban admitted to the grounds of inquiry, which alleged a range of contraventions under the Estate Agents Act 1980 (the Act). These were that he knowingly authorised or permitted the company to:
- cause there to be a deficiency in its trust account between June 2013 and June 2014, without providing an adequate explanation
- fail to keep proper accounting records from 2011 to 2014
- fail to provide an audit report to Consumer Affairs Victoria for the financial year ending 30 June 2012, until 17 April 2014
- fail to have its trust accounts audited following the 2013 and 2014 financial years
- fail to correctly balance its trust account between July 2013 and January 2014, and in March 2014
- obtain payment from two clients without having entered into a written agreement with them.
VCAT found that as a result of the above conduct, Mr Hoban, in his capacity as director and officer in effective control, contravened the Act and the Estate Agents (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2008 by failing to:
- establish procedures designed to ensure that the business operated in accordance with the law and good estate agency practice
- act to the best of his knowledge and ability as an estate agent
- exercise all due skill, care and diligence in his duties as an estate agent.
VCAT also found that Mr Hoban engaged in conduct that was unprofessional and detrimental to the reputation of the estate agency industry.
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Hearing date: 14 June 2016