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Dodgy Auckland agent loses licence

Former Barfoot & Thompson agent Aaron Hughes has been stripped of his licence, by the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal, for on-selling two properties in 2014.

Thursday, August 25th 2016, 12:00PM

by The Landlord

The Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) took Hughes, fellow agent Kim Hape and the branch manager, Avind Lal, to the Tribunal over misconduct in relation to the sales of the two Papatoetoe properties.

In one case, Hughes admitted to failing to obtain the best possible price for the vendors.

He also admitted to 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.

In the second case, Hughes also admitted to failing to obtain the best possible price for his clients

He also admitted to not providing his clients with an adequate appraisal and not advising them of the advantages of fully exposing the property to market before accepting an offer.

That property was also on-sold within a few days.

After Barfoot & Thompson learnt of the sales, the agency launched an internal investigation.

In 2014, the agency issued Hughes and Hape with final warnings, while Lal was dismissed.

The agency also made financial settlements of around $150,000 to the two original vendors and helped negotiate a $55,000 discount for an aggrieved investor.

The REAA charged Hughes and Lal with misconduct, and Hape with unsatisfactory conduct, and the trio admitted the charges to the Tribunal in July this year.

The Tribunal has now released its penalty decision.

Hughes was issued with a licence cancellation order, which means that he can’t hold a real estate licence for five years.

He is no longer practising as an agent, after being dismissed by Barfoot & Thompson earlier this year over the on-selling of another property.

The Tribunal suspended Lal’s licence for failing to supervise Hughes to ensure his work was performed competently.

It censured Hape and ordered him to pay a fine of $3,500 and to complete further education.

REAA chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith welcomed the 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, he said.

“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.”

 

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