Westpoint’s Norman Carey's real estate agent certificate not to be reinstated

A decision to allow director of Westpoint Realty Pty Ltd, Norman Phillip Carey, to renew a certificate allowing him to practice as a real estate agent has been overturned by the commissioner for consumer protection.

The director of Westpoint, currently in liquidation, Carey faced a unanimous judgement by the Court of Appeal yesterday morning, January 9, that set aside a previous State Administrative Tribunal ruling that had allowed him not to lose his triennial certificate.

Western Australian law required real estate agents to hold a current triennial certificate, renewed every three years, so this decision means that Carey cannot operate as a real estate agent.

In February 2011, Carey was found guilty at the Perth Magistrates Court on five charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act. This was in relation to the sale of a residential property development in 2005 in Riverdale.

Purchasers had been misled by the company, through its agents, around units in the Regent Apartments. They had been falsley informed that there were indefinite delays due to planning issues, which caused contracts of sale to be terminated.

The units had then been re-sold at a higher price shortly thereafter.

The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal by Mr Carey in January 2012 and the Court of Appeal dismissed a second appeal in August 2013; upholding the Magistrates Court decision and conviction.

In February 2012, the commissioner had initially decided not to renew Carey's certificate. This was on the grounds that he was not a "fit and proper person and of good character and repute" the Department of Commerce notes.

In December 2012, the State Administrative Tribunal reversed this decision and granted him the certificate.

Now, in January 2013, the initial decision has been reinstated under the Court of Appeal. He cannot operate in Western Australia.

In July 2011, Property Observer reported about former Westpoint directors Carey and Graeme Rundle, of Perth, being taken to court on two criminal charges each brought by ASIC regarding Warnbro Fair Shopping Centre and adjoining land as well as a transfer of the option to purchase WFSC to Bowesco Pty Ltd, a Carey family trustee company.

The charges were then dropped by ASIC after an important document was located. In May of 2013, Carey had said he would sue ASIC over the charges and seek payment of damages.

jduke@propertyobserver.com.au

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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