NSW Fair Trading warns of dodgy agent

The New South Wales Department of Fair Trading has warned people not to deal with an unlicensed real estate agent operating in the Goulbourn area. 

The state’s Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe this week warned people that Peter Franklin Atherton and his business Franklin Real Estate Pty Ltd trading as The Country Specialist should not be dealt with. 

A recent consumer complaint resulted in a Fair Trading investigation into Atherton’s business activites which discovered Atherton does not hold a licence to act as a real estate agent and the company Franklin Real

Estate Pty Ltd trading as The Country Specialist is not registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

As Atherton conducts business solely on the internet, Fair Trading has been unable to carry out normal auditing of his business affairs.

Despite being told it is illegal to trade as a real estate agent while not being the holder of the appropriate licence, Mr Atherton continues to display properties for sale on his website www.franklinrealestate.com.au. 

Fair Trading has is currently taking steps to close the website down. 

In November 2014 Fair Trading issued Mr Atherton with a $2200 penalty infringement notice for an offence under section 9 the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002, which requires a corporation to be licensed.

Any person who currently has a property listed with Mr Atherton or Franklin Real Estate – The Country Specialist is urged to relist the property with a properly licensed real estate agent.

Any person who has had dealings with Atherton should lodge an online complaint with Fair Trading at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or call 13 32 20.

In November 2014, Fair Trading issued Atherton with a $2200 penalty infringement notice for an offence under section 9 of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act 2002, which requires a corporation to be licensed.
 

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