Runaway Bay agent Alex Far permanently disqualified by QCAT

Runaway Bay agent Alex Far permanently disqualified by QCAT
Runaway Bay agent Alex Far permanently disqualified by QCAT

A Gold Coast real estate agent has been fined $5,000 in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) this month and permanently disqualified from holding a real estate licence.

Following an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), Alex Far, Sales Director of Sovereign Realty in Runaway Bay, was subject to this action after a complaint was received from sellers who had questioned the circumstances around the termination of a contract of sale for their property.

The tribunal heard Mr Far presented a contract worth $1.1 million to the property sellers, concealing that the buyer was a de-registered corporation of which he was a former director.

Mr Far also provided the sellers with false information regarding the supposed payment of a $100,000 deposit into the agency’s trust account. After the sellers became suspicious of his behaviour, Mr Far produced a series of falsified letters and emails pertaining to the progress of the sale, and then wrote a fake letter terminating the contract.

In sentencing, QCAT considered Mr Far’s lack of remorse, and the effort he went to in falsifying documents, which clearly showed his intention to deceive the sellers in order to make a profit.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said the disqualification from the real estate industry sent a strong message to others that misleading consumers would not be tolerated.

“Parties to a real estate transaction have the right to expect that documents they receive have not been tampered with or produced illegally,” Mr Bauer said.

“Real estate agents are placed in a position of trust and can be responsible for holding large deposits on behalf of buyers, so the OFT will take action to remove from the industry people like Mr Far who have displayed dishonesty.”

The OFT conducts a series of proactive compliance operations each year, targeting malpractice in the real estate industry, with a particular focus on trust accounting.

Real estate agents and consumers may report suspected misconduct directly to the OFT.

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Disqualification Qcat

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