A real estate agent has been fined $4000 and censured for helping a Christchurch Lotto ticket winner with a property purchase.
Nathan Tamihana, former salesperson for Gold Real Estate Group, has been fined $4000 fine, censured and ordered to reimburse $3000 legal costs for Lotto winner Russell Martin after being found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct by the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.
Gold Real Estate Group was also found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct and ordered to pay $10,000, censured and to cover $12,000 worth of legal costs.
Martin initially lost his case when he complained about being misled when buying a Christchurch house which he later sold at a loss.
The tribunal has since found Tamihana breached the Real Estate Agents Act and that he had not made it clear to Martin that he was acting for a vendor.
"Given the appellant's particular circumstances, the second respondent [Tamihana] failed to give the appellant [Martin] a full and fair explanation of the meaning and implications of the pre-auction offer process," it said.
In 2014, Martin won "a substantial Lotto prize", which "put him in the position of being able to buy a house - something that, as a sickness beneficiary, he had never before contemplated being able to do. He was not familiar with any part of the process of buying a house or the prices paid for houses in Christchurch," the tribunal heard.
Martin knew Tamihana and regarded him as a friend.
He was shown a number of properties and was eventually interested in an Idris Rd place going to auction. He put in a pre-auction offer of $890,000 but then wanted to cancel that. He was not allowed to, bought the property then resold it only five months later for just $765,000.00.
Russell then complained to the Real Estate Agents Authority about being misled about the price of the place, the level of interest in the property, pressure which made him make an offer at too high a price, not being provided with a copy of the pre-auction offer form or booklet and that the people named on the pre-auction offer form were not involved.
The tribunal noted that Russell thought Tamihana - who he had known socially for three to four years and had lunches with - was working in his interests.
"The committee was wrong to decide not to inquire further into the appellant's complaint. His appeal is allowed," the tribunal said. "Having undertaken that inquiry, we find that the licensee and the agency have engaged in unsatisfactory conduct."