The Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 (the Act) provides for a wide range of measures designed to ensure that licensees operate in a fashion that is fair to their clients. The Act also provides a significant degree of assurance to the general public and security for the clients of licensees. Inspectors of the Authority have comprehensive powers to carry out investigations into complaints of improper conduct. Following a finding of improper conduct by the Authority, the Authority has the power to impose stringent sanctions on any licensee found to have engaged in improper conduct.

Major Sanction Under Section 68 and Confirmed By High Court

Company or Individual

Convicted

 

Major Sanction

 

 

 

 

Tony Breathnach, previously traded as Cavan Real Estate

On foot of received complaints, inspectors of the Authority were appointed to carry out an investigation into the conduct of Mr Breathnach and his operation.

Following consideration of the inspectors’ Final Investigation Reports, the Authority decided to impose a major sanction in three parts:

 

  1. permanent revocation of the licence (this prevents Mr Breathnach from applying for a licence in the future),
  2. a payment of €50,000 to the Authority,
  3. a payment of €48,492.82 into the Property Services Compensation Fund.  

In determining the appropriate sanction, the Authority took into account various factors.  The sanction was unopposed by the former licensee in court.

The sanction was subsequently confirmed by the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, on 25 November 2019 and Mr Breathnach was given 90 days in which to make the appropriate payments.

 

   

 

Lloyd Daly & Associates

Limited

On foot of received complaints, an inspector of the Authority was appointed to carry out an investigation into the conduct of this company.

 

Following consideration of the inspector’s Final Reports, the Authority decided to impose a major sanction and the licensee was directed by the Authority to pay the sum of €7,500 into the Property Services Compensation Fund.  In determining the appropriate sanction, the Authority took into account various factors.  The sanction was unopposed by the licensee and his legal team in court.

 

The sanction was subsequently confirmed by the President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly on 9 November 2018.

 

   

 

Estate Agent

 

 

On 14 July 2016, the Property Services Regulatory Authority (the “Authority”) considered a Report prepared by its inspection team following a complaint, and a subsequent investigation in respect of a licensee. The Authority was satisfied that improper conduct had occurred arising from, inter alia, the management of booking deposits received by the Licensee.

In determining the appropriate sanction, the Authority took into account various factors including the fact that no client of the Licensee had suffered any permanent financial loss. The Authority decided to impose a major sanction and directed the licensee to pay the sum of €25,000 into the Property Services Compensation Fund. As required by the Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011, this sanction was confirmed by order of the High Court on 10 October, 2016.

 

 

Prosecutions Taken By The PSRA

N.B. It is the policy of the PSRA to redact names after a 2 year period.

 

Company or Individual Convicted

Court

(District or Circuit)

Outcome Court Outcome Fine Costs Awarded to the PSRA Charitable Contribution
Richard Finn, Martin Finn & Co. Auctioneer and Insurances and/or Martin Finn & Co. Auctioneers & Valuers, Dalton Street, Claremorris, Co. Mayo District Found Guilty and Conviction Recorded 19/09/2019 €500 €2,500 N/A
Austin McInerney, McInerney Auctioneers, Church Street, Gort, Co. Galway District Guilty Plea and Conviction Recorded 25/04/2019 N/A €5,000 N/A
Roger O’Sullivan, Ross Road, Killarney, Co. Kerry District Guilty Plea and Conviction Recorded 05/03/2019 €1,900 €650 N/A
Austin McInerney, McInerney Auctioneers, Church Street, Gort, Co. Galway District Guilty Plea and Conviction Recorded 22/11/2018 €500 N/A N/A
Unlicensed Mart District Guilty Plea, Court Recorded the Facts as Proven but Conviction Not Recorded 15/06/2017 N/A €10,000 N/A
Director of Unlicensed Estate Agents District Guilty Plea, Probation Act and Charitable Contribution 16/12/2015 €500 N/A €7,307.39
Unlicensed Estate Agents District Guilty Plea and Conviction Recorded 06/07/2015 €16,500 €9,306.14 N/A
Unlicensed Estate Agents District Guilty Plea, Probation Act and Charitable Contribution 03/11/2015 N/A €6,815.50 €1000
Unlicensed Estate Agents District and Circuit Guilty Plea and Conviction Recorded. Fine Reduced on Appeal and D.C. Costs Confirmed by the Circuit Court

District Court

01/12/2014

Circuit Court

22/04/2015

€2,400 €6,285.85 N/A

 

Injunctions Granted to the PSRA by The High Court

 

Company or Individual

 

 

Details of Injunction

 

Catherine (otherwise Kathy) Walsh and C E Walsh Limited, trading as Letting & Property Management Solutions and/or Letting & Management Solutions

 

On Monday, 9 December 2019, the President of the High Court, Mr Justice Peter Kelly, granted the Authority an injunction preventing Catherine (otherwise Kathy) Walsh and C E Walsh Limited, trading as Letting & Property Management Solutions and/or Letting & Management Solutions, from providing property services without a licence.   The injunction also prevents Ms Walsh from holding herself out as being available to provide property services, or from advertising property services in any way. 

 

Ms Walsh and her legal representative consented in court to the injunction. The injunction was sought following an investigation under section 89 of the Property Services (Regulation) Act 2011 (the Act) into Ms Walsh providing property services without a licence.  This is an offence under section 28 of the Act. The Authority has powers under section 89(7) of the Act to seek a High Court injunction requiring a person trading illegally without a licence to cease trading immediately.