A real estate agent who made disparaging comments about a property at auction must pay a $5000 penalty and has been reprimanded for unprofessional conduct.
The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal imposed the penalty on Eric Cohen, of Cohen Real Estate, in orders dated 6 March 2014.
At a November 2013 hearing, the tribunal heard evidence that Mr Cohen had appraised the McKinnon property but was not appointed to auction it. He attended the auction and made disparaging comments about ‘water leakage or seepage into the garage’ – unaware he was speaking to the vendor’s daughter-in-law.
The vendor’s son later lodged a complaint with Consumer Affairs Victoria, which took the matter to the tribunal.
The tribunal ruled that Mr Cohen had breached the Estate Agents (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2008 by engaging in conduct that was either unprofessional or detrimental to reputation or interests of the estate agency industry.
The tribunal reprimanded Mr Cohen and ordered him to pay the maximum penalty of $5000 to the Victorian Property Fund by 2 September 2014.
He must also successfully complete professional ethical training.
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