Property deal victims want money back
The victims of a real estate deal who were sold an Auckland car park which belonged to someone else say they just want their $25,000 deposit back.
Now resident in Cyprus, British-born Mike Burt and his wife Jilly purchased the carpark from real estate agent Janine Wallace who was the vendor but didn't actually own it.
She was recently found guilty of disgraceful conduct by the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal in relation to the carpark.
She was also found guilty on two charges of misconduct for trading while unlicensed and for placing undue pressure on vendors over a commission agreement.
Wallace said she would appeal the ruling, which she claimed to not know anything about until she was sent a copy of it this week.
The Burts bought two apartments at Princes Wharf on Auckland's Quay Street through Wallace and in October 2007 wanted an extra carpark. They paid a $25,000 deposit to her which they have not yet had repaid.
Wallace said she needed to talk to her lawyer first about that deposit and the tribunal"s decision. "There"s a lot of points that were raised there that were incorrect."
She plans to appeal the ruling, she said.
Wallace's website New Zealand Properties is still operating and features several house for sale and to rent. She can legally continue to practice until the tribunal hands down a penalty on the charges.
Real Estate Agents Authority ceo Kevin Lampen-Smith confirmed Wallace was still licensed and could carry on practising as an agent even though she has a misconduct decision against her name.
Burt, a British Airways pilot, said he and his wife are pleased with the tribunal"s findings but were out of pocket for their deposit and legal bills of about $20,000 to date.
They plan to revisit New Zealand in September and will consider legal action at that time. "We"ve financially lost a lot of money."
The couple, who have a daughter living in New Zealand, still own the two Auckland apartments.
- © Fairfax NZ News