Hastings company guilty of unlicensed trading

 
 
17/12/2013

​Hastings company, International Resource and Development Corporation Limited (IRDC), was sentenced on an unlicensed trading charge in the Hastings District Court last week.  IRDC had earlier pleaded guilty to the charge following a disputed facts hearing.

“Unlicensed trading is a serious offence and we are pleased with the outcome of our eighth successful prosecution for unlicensed trading offences” said Kevin Lampen-Smith, Chief Executive of the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA).

IRDC were carrying out real estate agency work without a licence.  They got the owner of a property to sign an authorisation form which allowed IRDC to negotiate with prospective purchasers, on the owner’s behalf, for the sale of his business for a period of 45 days.  On successful completion of a transaction, IRDC would charge the owner $2,200 +GST or 6% of the transaction value – whichever was higher. The business ended up being sold for $26,000 and the owner was charged $2,530 for IRDC’s services plus $400 for legal costs.

“IRDC were breaking the law and putting consumers at risk and they have now been held accountable” said Mr Lampen-Smith.

“The Real Estate Agents Act 2008 is all about protecting consumers.  The requirement for real estate agents to be licensed means the public are better protected as they are dealing with a real estate professional that must adhere to professional standards and there is an avenue for redress through the REAA’s disciplinary process if things should go wrong.”

"The key thing consumers can do to protect themselves when buying or selling real estate is to make sure they engage a licensed real estate agent.  Check the REAA’s public register see if someone is licensed and if they have any complaints upheld against them” continued Mr Lampen-Smith.

Judge Mackintosh stated that the consumer had suffered as a result of IRDC’s actions and ordered IRDC to pay reparation of $4,450.

The written decision is still to be issued.

The Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) is the independent government regulatory body for New Zealand’s real estate industry. We provide independent oversight of the real estate industry, ensure a high standard of service and professionalism with the industry, and provide increased protection for buyers and sellers of real estate.  We are a Crown entity, established under the Real Estate Agents Act.