Selling house costs illegal agent $5000

Last updated 05:00 08/12/2012

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A Gore man who carried out real estate agency work without a licence was still "labouring under the delusion he had done nothing wrong", an Invercargill District Court judge said yesterday.

Ewen James McLeod, of Gore, appeared in the Invercargill District Court before Judge Phil Moran yesterday for sentence after he was found guilty of carrying out the work without a licence after a hearing in Gore earlier this year. He was fined $5000.

Judge Moran said McLeod had assisted a couple in the sale of their home for a flat fee of $500, which was paid to him regardless of the outcome.

With the permission of the couple McLeod inserted his own telephone number in a newspaper advertisement and later showed potential buyers through the property while the owners were absent and held an open home.

When he was spoken to by an investigator he said he had offered his services for the flat fee.

Judge Moran told McLeod he was a slow learner as he was still labouring under the delusion he had done nothing wrong.

"The moment you had direct contact with any prospective purchaser you were acting on behalf of the vendors and acting as a real estate agent." Real estate agency work was licensed and regulated and had an important consumer protection purpose. McLeod had caused no actual harm, he said.

McLeod said as far as money was concerned it did not even pay for his lunch and he believed he was completely innocent.

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- The Southland Times

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