Former WA real estate agent Ronald George Smith loses appeal against fine for failing to deposit trust monies

Former Mandurah real estate agent Ronald George Smith has lost his appeal against a $1,350 fine issued by the WA State Administrative Tribunal (SAT).

Smith, who operated the former business Exclusive Waterfront Properties Pty Ltd, was fined in May last year over breaches of the Real Estate and Business Agents Act and the Code of Conduct for Agents and Sales Representatives.

The SAT fined Smith for failing to properly supervise the business.

According to the WA Department of Commerce, the appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court on March 16 “on the basis that it did not raise any question of law and would also have been dismissed on its merits”.

“The Court held that it was an absolute obligation of real estate agents to pay into a trust account all monies received on behalf of others regarding transactions,” the Department of Commerce said in a statement.

“The SAT heard that Mr Smith's former company had failed to deposit funds received from a vendor into its trust account, failed to supply all relevant information that would satisfy the vendor that expenses had been properly incurred and retained reimbursement for advertising expenses which was not agreed to in writing.”

The fine followed action taken by the former Real Estate and Business Agents Board (REBA) against Smith, whose business was involved in the marketing of three lots of land in Ravenswood in May 2008.

“The outcome of this case and the dismissal of the appeal clearly demonstrate that all real estate agents must, without exception, comply with the law in regard to the handling of clients' funds in the process of advertising and selling property,” says acting commissioner for consumer protection Gary Newcombe.




Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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