#main-content table tbody td {vertical-align: top;} Penalties - Estate agents - Consumer Affairs Victoria

Penalties - Estate agents

Skip listen and sharing tools

As an estate agent, it is your responsibility to understand your legal obligations under the Estate Agents Act 1980Residential Tenancies Act 1997 and Sale of Land Act 1962.

You must also understand your responsibilities under other laws that set rules for your business – for example, the Australian Consumer Law and Fair Trading Act 2012, which applies to all Victorian businesses.

You may be penalised for breaches of the Estate Agents Act, Residential Tenancies Act and Sale of Land Act. Some offences and their penalties are listed below.

We have a range of options to deal with breaches we identify. For more information, view our Regulatory approach and compliance policy.

Monetary penalties under the Estate Agents Act, Residential Tenancies Act and Sale of Land Act can be imposed by:

  • a court, after it finds charges proven, or
  • for certain offences, an infringement notice issued by our officers. For more information, view our About infringement notices page.

The value of a penalty unit is $161.19 for financial year 2018-19. This amount will change at the start of each financial year. For more information, visit the Indexation of fees and penalties page on the Department of Treasury and Finance website

Section of the Estate Agents Act

Obligation

Maximum penalty for breaching your obligation

12

You must not act as an estate agent unless licensed to do so.

Imprisonment for 12 months or 500 penalty units for an individual.

1,000 penalty units for a corporation.

16(2) and (3)

You must not act as an agent's representative unless you are eligible to be employed to do so.

You must not intentionally misrepresent that you are eligible to be employed as an agent's representative.

500 penalty units

29

You must not permit or assist a person who is not licensed to carry on the business of an estate agent.

500 penalty units, licence cancelled and permanent or temporary disqualification

42(4)

You must not publish or authorise the publication of an advertisement that is false or misleading.

25 penalty units

47C(2)

You must not market a property for sale at a lower price than your estimated selling price (commonly referred to as underquoting).

200 penalty units

55(1,2)

You must not purchase or indirectly benefit from the purchase of any real estate or business you are engaged to sell.

Imprisonment for 2 years or 240 penalty units, or both

59(1)

You must pay trust money into a trust account in an authorised financial institution within the time limits specified.

You must hold trust money in a trust account until it is paid by cheque or electronic transfer to the person entitled to it.

120 penalty units

59(3)

You must keep trust money in a separate and current trust account at an authorised financial institution.

25 penalty units

59(7)(a)

You must notify Consumer Affairs Victoria in writing within 14 days of opening a trust account, giving the name and number of the account and the address of the branch of the financial institution where the account is held.

60 penalty units

59(7)(b)

You must notify Consumer Affairs Victoria in writing within 14 days of closing a trust account.

60 penalty units

63(1,2)

You must keep full and accurate accounting records that show the true position of trust money received and dispersed.

25 penalty units

64(1)

You must have your trust accounts audited within three months after 30 June each year.

120 penalty units

64(1A)

You must engage a qualified auditor to audit your trust accounts.

25 penalty units

64(3)

You must retain the signed auditor’s report for seven years.

20 penalty units

64B(1)

You must, if your estate agency ceases business, notify Consumer Affairs Victoria within 28 days and have your trust accounts audited within three months.

25 penalty units

90

You must not have a reportable deficiency in your trust accounts.

Imprisonment for two years or 100 penalty units for an individual.

200 penalty units for a corporation.

91(1,2)

You must not fraudulently use trust money or falsify trust accounts.

Imprisonment for ten years or 500 penalty units for an individual.

1000 penalty units for a corporation.

 

Section of the Residential Tenancies Act

Obligation

Maximum penalty for breaching your obligation

412(5A)

You must not obtain a tenant’s signature on a bond application form unless the amount of the bond to be refunded, and any apportionment of the amount between the landlord and tenant, is set out on the form.

20 penalty units

 

Section of the Sale of Land Act

Obligation

Maximum penalty for breaching your obligation

33B(4)

If you are acting for a vendor offering land for sale that is vacant residential land or land on which there is a residence, you must ensure a due diligence checklist is made available to any prospective purchaser from the time the land is offered for sale.

60 penalty units

33B(5)

You must ensure the due diligence checklist is in the form approved by the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria.

60 penalty units

Where to next: