A real estate agent who tried to dupe an elderly widower out
of his home had been previously reprimanded for mistreating a
tenant and is now in jail for fraud.
Jodie Louise Kitto's "disturbingly fraudulent" scheme has
resulted in her being banned by the Real Estate Agents
Disciplinary Tribunal from ever selling property again.
The tribunal said Kitto tried to force 77-year-old Auckland
man Colin Frankham to swap his Beach Haven home, where he had
lived for more than 50 years, for her property.
She forged documents showing he had signed over his home -
for which he was seeking $850,000 - for her Bayview house,
which she first said was valued at $340,000, and later
upgraded to $433,000.
In its decision, the tribunal said her actions between
September 2010 and July 2011 amounted to "appalling
"The defendant embarked on a course of fraudulent conduct
against the complainant and harassed him and failed to
promote and protect his interests."
The tribunal heard that Mr Frankham had decided to sell his
house in April 2010 following the death of his wife.
Kitto knocked on his door in September 2010, and got him to
sign what he thought was an agent's authority for sale.
Over the coming months she tried to convince him to buy her
own property on Hotspur Place, but Mr Frankham refused as it
But Kitto left documents on his doorstep, including papers
appearing to be contracts selling his home to her for
$433,000, and another selling her home to him for $433,000.
A settlement notice for the sale and purchase of her home
came in January 2011, and later, two keys for her house
accompanied a handwritten letter claiming she was moving into
his home on July 23.
When he refused to move, Kitto issued him with a trespass
notice, warning him to stay away from his own home. Mr
Frankham ignored the threats and sought legal advice.
Kitto denied the misconduct charge but did not take part in
the tribunal process.
She is currently serving a two-year, three-month jail term
after being convicted in May this year of four separate
The unrelated convictions meant she was automatically banned
from holding a real estate's licence for 10 years, but the
tribunal believed she should never practise again.
"In our considered and unanimous view, [Kitto] must never
again be permitted to re-enter the real estate industry in
any capacity," it ruled.
"The defendant's actions can be summarised as that she was
indifferent to and seemingly unaware of her obligations as a
real estate agent; and, more concerningly, disturbingly
Mr Frankham, who still lives at the Beach Haven property,
said he didn't want to talk about his experience and just
wanted it to be over.
He said it had been a learning experience, and at 77 years of
age, he was still learning.
The resident now living in Kitto's former Hotspur Place
property said they didn't know her, but that bailiffs had
called four to five times looking for her. A former neighbour
at another house Kitto previously owned said she had also
tried to convince them to do a house-swap.
At the time, Kitto was living in a different address in
Bayview, and asked her neighbour to look through her
property, with a view to swapping. The neighbour said they
had no interest in a swap.
Kitto was also criticised in a Tenancy Tribunal judgement in
2010, when acting as a landlord for another property she
owned in Beach Haven.
The judgement said she threatened to remove her tenant by
force, in one instance telling him "the boys" were on the way
to remove him.
She was ordered to pay back the tenant more than $10,000 in
costs and damages.
Kitto was formerly a director and shareholder in three
companies, Divine Design Property Dressing Limited,
Investable Limited, and Property Auckland Limited.
An internet search linked Kitto with Barfoot and Thompson in
Beach Haven. The company would not comment but it is
understood Kitto worked there for only a week before being
released from her employment.