If we refer a complaint about you to a Complaints Assessment Committee we will advise you and the complainant in writing, usually within 10 days of first receiving the complaint, and we will provide you with a copy of the complaint. We may carry out some preliminary fact finding to provide the Complaints Assessment Committee with information.
The Complaints Assessment Committee will consider complaints where
There appears to be a breach of the law or the relevant rules, if the licensee has previously behaved in a similar way, or there is a wider public interest in the behaviour being fully investigated.
The Complaints Assessment Committee will meet to consider the complaint
This is usually within 20 working days of the complaint having been received but may be longer depending on whether any other information is required.
The Complaints Assessment Committee may decide not to inquire into the complaint – if this happens then the complaint is dismissed.
The Complaints Assessment Committee can also ask us to investigate the complaint further. An investigation will then usually be done by our investigators. The Complaints Assessment Committee will then meet again to consider the facts obtained during the investigation and will make a decision on the complaint.
The Complaints Assessment Committee will then reach one of three decisions
The Complaints Assessment Committee can:
No further action
The Complaints Assessment Committee considers all the information and decides that the licensee did nothing wrong i.e. they did not breach the standard set out in the Code of Professional Conduct and Client Care or their legislative requirements, or that given all the circumstances of the case, further action is unnecessary or inappropriate.
Unsatisfactory conduct is when a licensee carries out real estate agency work that:
- Falls short of the standard that is expected of a competent licensee
- Contravenes a provision of the Act
- Is incompetent or negligent
- Would reasonably be regarded as unacceptable by agents of good standing.
Misconduct is when a licensee’s behaviour
- Constitutes seriously incompetent or seriously negligent real estate agency work
- Would reasonably be regarded as disgraceful by agents of good standing or reasonable members of the public
- Has resulted in a conviction that reflects adversely on their fitness to be a licensee
- Wilfully or recklessly contravenes the Real Estate Agents Act 2008 or other Acts that apply to the conduct of licensees.
If the Complaints Assessment Committee finds that your behaviour is unsatisfactory conduct it can
- Censure or reprimand you
- Require you to apologise to the complainant
- Require you to undergo further training or education
- Order that you reduce, cancel or refund fees or rectify an error or omission
- Fine you up to $10,000 (for an individual) or $20,000 (if a company)
- Order you to pay costs to the complainant. These are set by the Complaints Assessment Committee.
You can appeal the Complaints Assessment Committee decision
A Complaints Assessment Committee decision can be appealed by you or the complaint to the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal who will then rehear the complaint. Information on filing an appeal is available on the Tribunal's website.
Complaint decisions are published
Decisions are not published until the appeal period of 20 working days has ended.