Estate agency Property Express Pty Ltd (ACN: 149 482 440) and two of its former directors have lost their licences, after misleading clients about property prices.
Following a hearing, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) found that between 2014 and 2016:
- the company, which traded as Sweeney Footscray Yarraville, contravened or failed to comply with the Estate Agents Act 1980 65 times
- former director Dean Anthony Johnson, of Williamstown, contravened or failed to comply with the law 35 times
- former director and officer in effective control (OIEC) Darren James Dean, of South Kingsville:
- contravened or failed to comply with the law five times, and
- did not meet his duties as OIEC.
VCAT found that Mr Johnson and Mr Dean:
- entered exclusive sales authorities with vendors without having provided estimated sale prices
- advertised properties at prices that were lower than the lower limit of the price range agreed with vendors
- failed to show commission fees as both percentage and dollar figure on sale authorities.
Under VCAT’s orders, Mr Johnson and the company have each:
- had their licences cancelled
- been disqualified from applying for a licence for two years
- been reprimanded.
Mr Dean was reprimanded and disqualified from holding a licence until 16 September 2020. The Business Licensing Authority automatically cancelled Mr Dean’s licence in 2018, after he was declared bankrupt.
VCAT also found that Mr Johnson and Mr Dean were not fit and proper to hold estate agent licences.
The offences relate to the sale of more than 50 properties in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
We have taken previous action against Mr Johnson. For more, see:
You can check a licensee’s current status on the Public register of licensed estate agents.
Property Express Pty Ltd no longer trades as Sweeney Footscray Yarraville.