Crackdown on real estate agents
MORE than 50 Queensland real estate agents were asked to show their rent rolls to the Office of Fair Trading and the Residential Tenancies Authority during a four-month crackdown on agents withholding bonds.
The OFT issued statutory notices to 54 real estate agents asking them to provide their rent rolls so they could be compared against the bonds held with the RTA.
Of those 20 were found to have discrepancies between their rent rolls and the RTA register of lodged bonds, nine needed further follow up investigation by the OFT and the RTA and four were found to non-compliant.
Issues identified included misapplication of trust monies with further investigation under way.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the operation was in response to concerns tenants' rights were being ignored which she believed impacted on the broader integrity of the industry.
"Bond money does not belong to a real estate agent and must be transferred to the RTA correctly and within legislated timeframes," she said.
"Most agents are doing the right thing but it's important that tenants are treated fairly and legally, and I'm pleased to see action taken against non-compliant agencies."
Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said some of the agencies identified as being non-compliant had failed to lodge upwards of 60 bonds.