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REIQ Journal : October 2008
32 Legal Issues Permanent disqualification for agent By Michael Gapes, Partner, Carter Newell Lawyers In the recent decision of The Chief Executive, Office of Fair Trading Department of Justice and Attorney General v Brandt  CCT PD010-08, the Commercial and Consumer Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) permanently disqualified a real estate agent from holding a licence or certificate under the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 (Qld). THE DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS were brought against the agent (Mr Brandt) for three alleged breaches of the PAMD Act. Firstly, the agent was alleged to have breached a condition of his salesperson’s certificate that he was not to have any dealings with trust accounts. Secondly, it was alleged that the agent had engaged in misleading conduct by displaying his salesperson’s certificate on his office wall without the condition. Thirdly, the agent was alleged to have acted as an unlicensed real estate agent. Mr Brandt admitted the charges and did not dispute the particulars. The facts Mr Brandt had worked in the real estate industry since 1964. He had been bankrupt on three occasions and during the third period, between October 2000 and October 2003, he obtained a real estate agent’s licence in New South Wales. After determining that Mr Brandt had not taken all reasonable steps to avoid the third bankruptcy, the relevant authority in REIQ Journal October 2008 New South Wales consequently cancelled his licence and determined that he should be disqualified from holding a licence until October 2006. Mr Brandt appealed the decision. Whilst the decision was pending, Mr Brandt applied for a licence from the Queensland licensing authorities on 6 December 2004 on the basis of the mutual recognition legislation. On 17 February 2005, the New South Wales Administrative Decisions Tribunal dismissed Mr Brandt’s application for review. On 26 May 2005, the Queensland licensing authorities, in error, issued Mr Brandt with a licence under the mutual recognition legislation. The error was discovered and the licence was subsequently cancelled on 1 June 2005. After a further application, Mr Brandt was granted a salesperson’s certificate on 24 June 2005 on the condition that he was not to have any dealings with trust accounts.