A real estate agent who was "seriously incompetent and seriously negligent" when selling two properties has copped a three month suspension.
Auckland's Shalendra Goundar was also censured by the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal and ordered to pay a $2500 fine after being found guilty of misconduct.
Goundar, the branch manager and owner of Century 21 Papatoetoe, failed to inform buyers Khulbushan Joshi and Jeevan Joshi of their rights or the opportunity to seek independent legal advice when selling them two properties.
The tribunal heard Goundar had assisted in selling properties to the Joshis and allowed his sisters Nalina Goundar and Regina Goundar to carry out real estate agency work, despite neither of them holding a licence.
The tribunal said it was satisfied that when taken cumulatively Goundar's breaches could only be regarded as "seriously incompetent and seriously negligent real estate work".
A penalty hearing was held in late November, where a Real Estate Agent Authority committee argued Goundar's "total inaction" should be "considered a serious breach of acceptable standards".
The committee's lawyer argued that the obligations the agent was "found to have breached are all mechanisms designed to protect consumers" and that the Joshis were left in a "particularly vulnerable position where they were essentially taken advantage of" by Goundar's relatives.
Goundar appeared to have left "important professional obligations to his secretary, without any proper follow up or oversight", the committee said.
The committee pushed for censure, together with either a suspension or a fine.
Goundar's lawyer argued that her client had contributed to the community as a Justice of the Peace and that his father was ill over the period in question, which may have contributed to his failure to ensure standards were met.
Goundar was not motivated by any personal gain, his lawyer argued, and that one of the properties was on-sold by the Joshis seven months later for $110,000 more than they bought it for.
His lawyer said an appropriate penalty was censure and a fine.
In its decision on penalty - released last month - the tribunal said Goundar had breached a licensees' fundamental obligations under the Real Estate Agents Act.
It is also referred to a separate finding of unsatisfactory conduct made against Goundar in 2015.
"The events to which that finding related occurred in January 2015, so post-date the transactions in the present case. The later events serve to demonstrate that Mr Goundar's conduct in the present case was not an isolated, aberrant event," the tribunal said.
It censured him, suspended his license for three months, ordered him to pay a $2500 fine and to complete further training.
Goundar did not wish to comment when contacted by the Herald.