Lane Nichols is a senior NZ Herald reporter

Real Estate Agents Authority calling for cancellation of Aaron Drever's license

Aaron Drever. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Aaron Drever. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The real estate watchdog is calling for the cancellation of an Auckland agent's licence who faces more disciplinary finding than any other.

Aaron Drever, 33, admitted his second misconduct charge last week before the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal in connection with the sale of three West Auckland homes.

He also has seven unsatisfactory conduct findings against name - three of which are under appeal - giving him a record nine adverse disciplinary decisions.

The agent with the next highest number has six, while the third highest has four.

Real Estate Agents Authority chief Kevin Lampen-Smith issued a statement today labelling Drever's behaviour a "fundamental breach of an agent's obligations".

While it was up to the tribunal to decide Drever's fate at a penalty hearing later this year, the REAA was calling for the cancellation of his licence to reflect the seriousness of the latest charge and his extensive disciplinary history.

The latest finding relates to three property transactions in 2013 and reckless contraventions of the Code of Professional Conduct and Client Care.

In the statement, Lampen-Smith claimed this included asking clients to sign agency agreements without inserting the appraised value, providing copies of the REAA approved guides, explaining in writing how the land would be marketed and advertised, and not providing his clients with an appraisal.

"In one instance, when bringing a customer to view his client's property, Mr Drever said to the client words to the effect of, 'Shut your mouth, don't say a word, they're my clients'."

The statement alleged: "Previous conduct by Mr Drever, for which he has had disciplinary findings, include putting a vendor's money at risk by banking their marketing funds directly into his own account rather than the agency's, putting pressure on a party to sign a variation to a sale and purchase agreement, failing to follow a vendor's instructions and pressuring a vendor to withdraw a complaint they had made about him to his agency.

"Mr Drever's latest behaviour is a fundamental breach of an agent's obligations and is not acceptable."

Lampen-Smith said the REAA's role was to help protect consumers. One of the ways it did this was by holding the industry to account for its actions.

"We want New Zealanders to have confidence that when it comes time to buy or sell a property they can trust the agent they are dealing with.

"We encourage anyone who is about to buy or sell a property to check our Public Register to see if the agent they are dealing with has a disciplinary history (and if they are licensed). This means people can make an informed choice about who they want to work with. It is also a good idea to understand the buying and selling process and what you can expect from an agent - our buyers and sellers guide is a great place to start."

In a statement to the Herald last week, Drever accepted he had made mistakes and that it would take time to rebuild his reputation and public confidence in his ability to work as a real estate agent.

Drever, whose 13-year career has included stints with RE/MAX, Ray White and Harcourts, was once a top-selling agent and has previously blamed his sheer sales volumes for his numerous breaches.

His licence will remain voluntarily suspended until the penalty hearing in October.

- NZ Herald

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