A real estate agent who photoshopped mould out of a property
advertisement has been found guilty of unsatisfactory conduct
by the Real Estate Agents Authority.
Thomas Hendriks was working for Ray White Glen Eden when he
altered photos for a house he was trying to sell near the end
After the house failed to sell by auction in November that
year, the vendor dropped the asking price by $10,000 to
Two months later, a settlement took place for the property.
At the time, there had been no indication to the purchaser of
mould in the upstairs living area, despite Mr Hendriks being
aware of the situation, the authority decision stated.
About seven months after taking over the property, the new
owner - who was also the complainant in this case - was
notified by tenants the mould had returned.
Evidence presented to the authority also showed the tenants,
who had remained in the home between owners, knew Mr Hendriks
had seen "the ceilings in the upstairs living area were very
obviously black with mould" when he first visited the home in
Mr Hendriks, who admitted doctoring the mould from the
photos, told the authority a property inspection he carried
out in "a usual and reasonable manner" failed to reveal any
of the problems identified by the complainant - including
mould and damp issues in the downstairs area of the home.
However, reports supplied to the authority by the complainant
indicated the water ingress in the downstairs area had been
present for some years and had been concealed by recently
Chris Rogers, the chairman of the authority's complaints
assessment committee who assessed the complaint against Mr
Hendriks, said alteration of the photographs was "misleading
and obviously unsatisfactory".
However, he disagreed with the complainant and stated in the
decision Mr Hendriks did not seem to be aware of water
ingress problems in the downstairs area of the property.
Mr Rogers also said a complaint against another real estate
agent, who was the second licensee for this property, had
been brought before the authority.
The complainant believed the second licensee misled her into
believing two other prospective buyers were interested in the
property, pressuring her into making an offer at the asking
There was no evidence to show this licensee engaged in
unsatisfactory behaviour, Mr Rogers found.
A separate hearing will take place to decide if any orders
should be made against Mr Hendriks for engaging in
- Teuila Fuatai of APNZ