A real estate agent has been fined after a buyer wasn't told that 112sq m of public land was included within the property boundary fence.

The new owner said they didn't find out the fenceline encroached by up to 7m into Department of Conservation (DoC) land until visited by a ranger a month after settlement.

The fence had been built on DoC land alongside a neighbouring estuary in the Paraparaumu area, north of Wellington, extending the fenced yard from 644sq m to 756sq m.

John Ernest Jarden, the now retired agent who sold the property, was found guilty by the Real Estate Agents Authority's Complaints Assessment Committee of unsatisfactory conduct.


The property was bought in July 2013, and the following month a DoC ranger called on the house to discuss the boundary issues.

The committee's decision said there were conflicting views over what advice the buyers, who were not named, were given by Mr Jarden.

The buyers said they asked at a viewing whether the property extended to the fenceline, and Mr Jarden confirmed it did.

However, Mr Jarden said there were no questions asked about the boundary.

There were also conflicting views on whether Mr Jarden knew of the boundary encroachment, however he said he was aware the previous owners had been asked to move a vegetable garden inside the boundary, as it had been on DoC property, the decision said.

The committee said encroachments into the estuary were common, and real estate agents working in the area should have been aware to check on boundaries.

While acknowledging the buyer had a responsibility to make their own enquiries, the committee said the agent should have ensured the property was accurately described.

The complainants had asked that the commission be returned and the property be auctioned, with the agent to make up any loss from their original purchase price.


The committee declined and made no order for compensation. Mr Jarden was fined $5000, censured, and ordered to pay the complainants $1778 for legal costs and $1301 for survey costs.

As he was retired, nobody from the real estate office he worked at in Paraparaumu was able to comment.