A disciplinary tribunal has found that a Hamilton real estate agent was not guilty of misconduct when she sold a house in the path of a proposed motorway.
This Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal decision on an appeal was in line with an earlier decision by the Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) that found Bayleys agent Angela Davies had engaged in "unsatisfactory conduct" but fell short of the requirements for the more serious charge of "misconduct".
However, the decision raised the issue of whether previous penalties issued by the Hamilton District Court were appropriate.
Rafal and Sylwia Piontecki bought a Tamahere home and lifestyle block through Davies in 2011.
The couple won a civil case in Hamilton District Court, which awarded them a total of $35,000.
The sum was to be paid by the four defendants in the case, Davies, her employer Success Realty Limited (trading as Bayleys), valuer John Sweeney, and his firm Fergusson Lockwood and Associates Limited.
The Pionteckis said at the time that the sum was an insufficient punishment, and made a complaint to REAA.
The authority agreed that Davies had engaged in unsatisfactory conduct, and ruled that the orders already meted out by the District Court were sufficient.
An appeal was then lodged by the couple to the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.
The disciplinary tribunal this month upheld the decision that Davies had engaged in unsatisfactory conduct, albeit at "a high level".
The finding stated that this was a borderline case.
"All in all, it is very arguable whether the offending level of "misconduct" has been reached. However, we prefer to find that the licensee is guilty of unsatisfactory conduct at a high level."
It said the type of penalty to be imposed was a concerning issue, and "quite some more thought must be given to the appropriate penalty imposed on the licencee".
The finding said the penalty issue should be dealt with by a series of submissions from each party, and a telephone conference would be organised with the chairperson of the Complaints Assessment Committee.
A spokesperson for the tribunal said the process of determining a penalty usually takes three to four weeks, and the decision will be published on the tribunal's website.
Bayleys Waikato regional manager Stephen Shale declined to comment on the case while proceedings were still underway.
- Waikato Times