A real estate agent who failed to properly receipt tenancy bonds and left the cash received to be processed by other staff, has been fined $8k despite acting entirely innocently.
Georgia Pease – an employed licensed agent at Beachside Realty in Broadbeach – was alleged to have “acted in an unprofessional way” in the performance duties for employer Shayne Martens.
The correct procedure was to pay bonds into the trust account after receipting them to the tenant and then remit the bonds to the Residential Tenancy Authority.
Pease – who received the funds – gave the tenants non-trust account receipts and kept a copy of these on the tenant’s file together with a RTA bond lodgement form.
Pease had limited electronic access to her employer’s trust account but was not a signatory to it.
In disciplinary proceedings before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, it was alleged that on 10 occasions between July 2010 and May 2011 she failed to the receipt $16,000 in cash payments or pay them into the trust account.
It was not alleged that any of the cash was misappropriated by Pease or that she benefited in any way from what occurred. The Property Agents fund paid out claims to the tenants to the extent of the full $16,000.
Pease claimed it was the responsibility of other personnel to process payments.
She conceded however her conduct was “unprofessional” and for this a financial only $8k penalty was imposed.