Real estate agent stripped of licence

by NZ Adviser07 Nov 2016
An Auckland-based real estate agent who was earning more than $1 million a year in commission has been stripped of his licence.

Aaron Drever, who has sold more than 500 homes, appeared before the tribunal last month for a penalty hearing in connection with the sale of three West Auckland homes, one of which included telling a client to "shut your mouth", according to the NZ Herald.

Drever, who was working RE/MAX's now defunct Hedgman Realty in Glen Eden at the time of the incident, amassed nine adverse disciplinary findings in the last few years. He pleaded for one final chance, arguing his offending was the result of lack of supervision and from being overworked.

REAA prosecutors called for Drever's licence, saying his history showed he was reckless and cavalier in his attitude towards clients and not fit to be an agent.

The tribunal agreed and said the only option left was cancellation of his licence.

It said the principal purpose of the Real Estate Agents Act was to promote and protect the interests of consumers in real estate transactions and promote public confidence in the profession.

"We do not accept that any lack of supervision, management oversight, or systems within an agency ameliorates Mr Drever's conduct to any great extent. If those were lacking, Mr Drever could have made a complaint to the Authority in respect of the manager concerned. We do not accept that, for any reason, Mr Drever was unable to comply, or was prevented from complying, with his obligations under the Act and Rules.

"Rather, his conduct over the course of several years shows that he ignored those obligations. His wish to maintain an income, and the fact that (at the time of some of the charged conduct) he may have been trying to leave an agency, do not provide a satisfactory explanation for his conduct, and it does not excuse it.

The tribunal ruled Drever was not fit to work in the profession and cancelled his licence. It also ordered him to pay $3000 towards the REAA's costs.

REAA chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith said the tribunal's decision was appropriate, given Drever's history of unprofessional behaviour.

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