The Consequences of Real Estate Agent Misconduct

No matter what industry you are in, there are rogue traders who will attempt to deceive. They cross the lines of not only ethical behaviour, but illegal behaviour. We have touched on this subject before in regards to Real Estate Bonds and bond theft. Over the years there have been many accounts of dubious agents misappropriating bond monies. The results were hefty fines and revoking of licenses.

Thankfully, steps such as the mandatory changes to payment of rental bonds online have put a stop to rental bond theft. Changes to the Residential Tenancy Act 2010 came into effect on the 30th January 2017, that meant that all agents and private landlords be registered with Rental Bonds Online. They then invite their tenants to lodge their bond online using the system. The instances of rental bond theft dramatically reduced.

Yet, some still find a way.

Real Estate Agent Misconduct in Action…

In September this year, Real Estate Business covered an article on a WA Real Estate Agent was dealt a 10 year ban, fines and legal costs as he misappropriated two payments to the total of $21,000 to his personal bank account. Matthew Piero Liscia breached two real estate codes of conduct and was fined $2,000. Add to that legal fees and a 10 year ban on his certificate of registration. Mr Liscia sought to charge a religious group $4,000 for a private viewing of a property which proceeded at $1,000. He then charged a distribution company part of their deposit of a future purchase whilst signing a lease agreement prior to the purchase. Both transactions funnelled straight into Mr Liscia’s personal bank account.

It really does continue to baffle the team at End of Month Angels. How do these agents believe they can get away with such unethical and illegal behaviour? Unfortunately, stories like this continue to crop up and continue to surprise us.

The changes in real estate legislation are working towards stopping such criminal activity, and it is all for the better. The sooner we can rid the industry of such shonky behaviour, the quicker we can all get on with our jobs in an ethical and lawful manner.

Jane Morgan is the Director of End of Month Angels, a consultancy firm specialising in Trust Accounting. Jane knows the legislative requirements of running a successful Real Estate office through her 23 years industry experience. Don’t trust just anyone with your trust accounting. Book an appointment with an End of Month Angel today.