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23 March 2012

An Adelaide real estate agent has been fined $14,000 for unprofessional conduct over the 2008 sale of an elderly woman’s Prospect property.

On Wednesday, District Court Judge Ralph Soulio reprimanded 51 year old Daniel Christiaan Overduin, of Military Rd Tennyson, for failing to act in the interests of his client.

Judge Soulio said Overduin had a potential conflict of interest because the property was sold to a developer friend of his brother’s.

Consumer and Business Services (CBS) took disciplinary proceedings against Overduin after it was alerted by Prospect Council to the sale of the house.
Prospect Council was dealing with the vendor and her husband because they were struggling to properly maintain the property.

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Paul White said the price was well below market value and Overduin failed to consider whether the elderly vendor had the required mental capacity to give instructions.

“The sale of the house was organised by Daniel Overduin’s brother Jan, who previously had been to the couple’s house to do work on their garden.

“Jan Overduin told a developer he knew that the house could be purchased for
$130,000,” Commissioner White said.

“One of the conditions of sale, used to justify the low price, was that the couple would continue living in the house rent free.

“But the dilapidated state of the house was such that the rent -free agreement had no value,” Commissioner White said.

He said a retrospective land-only valuation of the property was $300,000.

“This was a case of serious neglect of duty and could have resulted in the cancellation or suspension of Mr Overduin’s licence.

“The judge took into account Mr Overduin’s previous unblemished record and decided that the public would be sufficiently protected by a fine and reprimand.

“This case sends a strong signal to estate agents they need to maintain proper standards of conduct,” Commissioner White said.

Consumer concerns or complaints can be made to Consumer and Business Services on 13 1882 or visit the CBS website www.cbs.sa.gov.au