Auckland agent stripped of licence for on-selling

 
 
25/08/2016
The Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) welcomes the cancellation of a real estate agent’s licence in relation to two charges of misconduct in a case prosecuted by the REAA before the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.

The Tribunal has now released its penalty decision in relation to Aaron Hughes, a former salesperson at Barfoot & Thompson Papatoetoe, Avind Lal, a former branch manager, and Kim Hape, a salesperson, of the same branch. 

In the first charge, Mr Hughes admitted failing to obtain the best possible price for the vendors of a property in Fitzroy Street, Papatoetoe, Auckland, and bringing the industry into disrepute by on-selling the property on the same day for approximately 15% more than the price he obtained for the original vendors. 

The second misconduct charge admitted by Mr Hughes involved a property in Carlie Street, Papatoetoe. He failed to ensure that he obtained the best possible price for his clients, did not provide an adequate appraisal, or advise them of the disadvantages of not fully exposing the property to market before accepting an offer. That property was also on-sold within a few days. 

Mr Hughes voluntarily surrendered his licence earlier this year and is no longer practising as a real estate agent.  The licence cancellation order means that he cannot hold a real estate licence for a period of 5 years. He is able to reapply for a licence after this 5 year period.

The Tribunal has also suspended the licence of Mr Avind Lal, former branch manager of Barfoot & Thompson’s Papatoetoe branch, for 10 months until 24 June 2017.  Mr Lal has not been working in real estate since 2015 when he voluntarily suspended his licence. 

Mr Lal admitted to a charge of misconduct in relation to failing to supervise Mr Hughes to ensure that his work was performed competently in relation to the sale of the Fitzroy Street property. 

Mr Kim Hape, another licensee of Barfoot and Thompson Papatoetoe, also admitted unsatisfactory conduct relating to a subsequent on-sale of the Carlie Street property. The Tribunal has censured Mr Hape, ordered him to pay a fine of $3,500 and to complete further education.

Kevin Lampen-Smith, Chief Executive of the Real Estate Agents Authority, said the cancellation of a licence is reserved for the most serious offences.

“We welcome this decision and the clear message it sends to the industry. New Zealanders buying and selling property need to have confidence that real estate agents abide by the rules and that if they don’t, there are major consequences. This is the fourth licence to be cancelled this year and while licence cancellation is not done lightly or often, these decisions are a reminder that we will not hesitate to take action to protect the interests of consumers.”

In early August 2016 the High Court cancelled Alan Morton-Jones’s licence based on an appeal by the REAA for short paying a number of clients of his property management business. And earlier in the year the Tribunal cancelled the licences of Victor She and Vincent Zhou.  Mr She’s licence was cancelled as a result of actively participating in another licensee’s dishonest conduct and Mr Zhou’s licence was cancelled for creating false rental appraisals, use of a forged signature on an agreement and for not disclosing to the vendors of a property that his wife was the purchaser and that he would be the registered owner. 

Media release [.pdf 218KB]

About the Real Estate Agents Authority 

The Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) is the independent government regulatory body for the real estate industry in New Zealand. Our job is to promote a high standard of service and professionalism in the real estate industry and help protect and promote the interests of buyers and sellers. We provide information and guidance for buyers and sellers, provide advice and guidance for agents and deal with complaints about agents' behaviour.

The REAA is a Crown entity, established under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008.
ENDS

Contact

Ngaire Vanderhoof
media@reaa.govt.nz
(04) 815 8466