Public warning – Peter Franklin Atherton
A real estate agent believed to be operating in the Goulburn area has caught the eye of Fair Trading.
People are being warned not to deal with Mr Peter Franklin Atherton.
The Commissioner for Fair Trading Mr Rod Stowe issued a warning on June 1 to members of the public not to deal with unlicensed real estate agent Mr Peter Franklin Atherton or his business Franklin Real Estate Pty Ltd trading as ‘The Country Specialist’.
Following a recent consumer complaint to Fair Trading against Mr Atherton an investigation was conducted into his business.
Fair Trading established Mr 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).
Mr Atherton has not produced any of his accounts to Fair Trading for examination and, as he conducts business solely on the internet, Fair Trading has been unable to carry out normal auditing of his business affairs.
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.
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 ‘Franklin Real Estate – The Country Specialist’.
Mr Atherton is operating in the Goulburn region.
Fair Trading has commenced action to close down Mr Atherton’s website (www.franklinrealestate.com.au).
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 Mr Franklin should lodge an online complaint with Fair Trading at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au or call 13 32 20.