Perth estate agent disqualified after forging signatures

Warren David McFarlane, a real estate salesman and land valuer from Wembley, Perth has been disqualified and fined $1,000 by the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT), after submitting an application with WA's Consumer Protection which contained forged signatures.

The application was for renewal of his real estate sales representative’s certificate of registration prior to its expiry in March 2012, which requires a declaration from a current employer and an authorised witness.

McFarlane, who was not employed by an agency at the time, admitted that he had forged the signature of a former employer, a west Perth real estate agent, as well as two witnesses.

He has been disqualified from registration as a real estate sales representative for two years, fined $1,000 and order to pay costs of $500.

In a subsequent order, the SAT also disqualified him from holding a land valuer’s licence for one year on the basis that he was not a fit and proper person to hold such a licence.

The first renewal application made by McFarlane was rejected by Consumer Protection because the witness was not authorised, and the application was re-submitted with the forged signature of a licensed real estate agent as a witness, WA's Department of Commerce said in a statement.

Disciplinary action against McFarlane under the Real Estate and Business Agents Act began after WA's Consumer Protection confirmed that the signatories to the application had no knowledge of the use of their forged signatures.

Commissioner for consumer protection Anne Driscoll said the case highlighted the serious consequences of including false information in applications.

“The licensing and registration system is designed to ensure that only fit and proper people are allowed to work in the property industry in WA and underpins consumer confidence and protection,” Driscoll said.

“It’s essential that truthful and accurate information is given in licence applications and renewals, so that we can maintain the integrity of the system and the licensed industries.”

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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