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Dishonest real estate agents beware
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By: Hazel Bowering-Scott
Dishonestly offending will be taken seriously when applying to be a licensed salesperson, as is demonstrated in the recent case
Real Estate Agents Authority v A
 NZHC 2929.
A real estate agent who pleaded guilty to over 30 charges of tax frauds had her application for renewal of her salesperson licence declined by the registrar of the Real Estate Agents Authority. The registrar could not be satisfied that the sales agent was a fit and proper person to be licenced as a salesperson.
On a review of the registrar's decision, the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal took into account positive references and employer support and decided to renew her licence.
The registrar appealed this to the High Court and the decision made by the registrar was reinstated.
The Court acknowledged that the tax frauds were not associated with her work as a real estate agent. However, an important standard of her as a licensed salesperson was that she "must not engage in any conduct likely to bring the industry into disrepute". Despite 29 years' experience in real estate, the recent involvement in serious offences of dishonesty meant that the Court could not be satisfied that the agent was a fit and proper person to be licenced as a salesperson.
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