An Auckland real estate agent has lost her licence after she falsified her records when a home buyer claimed she had cost him $160,000.
Indra Prasad, then with Harcourts Image Realty in Manukau, was found guilty in a High Court appeal decision of serious misconduct and acting disgracefully when she dishonestly changed documents to escape the blame.
Kamaljit Singh laid the complaint against Prasad after he bought a Goodwood Heights property at auction on February 6, 2016.
After renovating the home, he then put it up for sale again, where it was bought by a successful bidder at another auction in July of the same year.
However, the bidder pulled out of the purchase after learning the property would be affected by the Redoubt Rd-Mill Rd Corridor Project, whereby a 107sq m chunk would be lost from the front of the property so the road could be widened.
Singh claimed the loss of the sale cost him $160,000, including $40,000 in renovation costs.
He said he was only told about the major roadworks when he attempted to re-sell the home.
After Singh complained, charges were brought against Prasad.
• Appeal Court finds Hamilton real estate agents fixed prices
• Former top real estate agent Aaron Drever faces criminal charge over sale of Avondale bowling club land
• Unlicensed real estate agent in court
• Real estate agents now liable to $100,000 payouts for misinformation
She was found guilty of misconduct by the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal early last year.
She told the disciplinary hearing that during open homes at the Goodwood Heights property she had told all interested buyers about the upcoming roadworks after finding out about them from a neighbour.
She also said she told colleagues at Harcourts Image Realty about the roadworks during sales meetings.
But her colleagues denied this, leading Prasad to tell the tribunal they were lying as part of a conspiracy against her.
The tribunal subsequently found her guilty of misconduct for failing to tell all potential buyers and colleagues.
It also found Prasad guilty of retrospectively adding or expanding entries to her diary to make it look like she had told all potential buyers and colleagues about the roadworks.
Her licence was then suspended for 18 months and she was ordered to take further training.
But both Prasad and the Complaints Assessment Committee appealed to the High Court.
However, Justice Timothy Brewer in the recently released High Court appeal decision dismissed Prasad's appeal.
He upheld earlier findings about her serious misconduct and that she acted dishonestly.
"Of greatest significance is that Ms Prasad maintained her lies," Brewer said.
"Ms Prasad refuses to accept responsibility for her actions and accordingly demonstrates neither insight nor remorse."
This meant that rather than suspending Prasad's real estate practising licence, it was more appropriate to cancel it.
"Ms Prasad did not come before the tribunal as a penitent but as a recalcitrant," Brewer said.
"In my view, the penalty of suspension of licence was imposed in error.
"I order the cancellation of Ms Prasad's licence."
When contacted by the Herald, Prasad repeated her claims that her former colleagues were lying as part of a conspiracy against her, saying she had been "thrown under the bus".
She claimed to the Herald that there was a video of the February 2016 auction, showing that all buyers were verbally warned before the bidding started that the property would be affected by roadworks, but that this hadn't been discovered by the investigator.
The tribunal ruling acknowledged Prasad had told some people attending open homes at the property about the roadworks.
However, it found her guilty of misconduct for failing to tell all potential buyers and colleagues.