Are your referral partners convicted criminals?

Brokers undergo strict background checks before becoming accredited - but some of their closest referral partners could be convicted criminals



Convicted burglars, fraudsters and even murderers can become licensed real estate agents in one Australian state, according to an article published in The Australian yesterday.

While plans are underway to introduce more stringent legislation, a person is still able to sell a property in the state despite having committed a serious crime.

However, while individuals who have committed a crime with a maximum sentence of more than three years in jail can be automatically refused a real estate licence or salesperson certificate in Queensland, lesser offences won’t rule you out. Computer hackers and those convicted of forcible entry, for instance, won’t likely be stopped from marketing and selling homes.

Furthermore, current legislation in the state means any offense, even murder and fraud, is overlooked after five years, The Australian said.

MFAA CEO, Phil Naylor, says that when his association looks at taking on new members, it uses a similar stance to ASIC, regarding applicants’ criminal history on a case by case basis.

“The MFAA would look at the criminal record and if it had anything to do with dishonesty or fraud, they probably would most likely not get past the entry requirements. It would depend on what the crimes are…from memory, ASIC don’t say every crime is a disqualification but anything to do with dishonesty or fraud would definitely be a no no.”

However, Naylor did add that there is a principle in several states where, if a crime was commited more than ten years ago, it no longer appears on the record.

Neither the Real Estate Institute of Australia or ASIC were able to provide comment in time for today’s deadline.

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