Mullum estate agent disqualified

SEAN KENNY, of Sean Kenny Real Estate in Mullumbimby, has been disqualified from holding a real estate licence for five years after it was found he exploited the trust of an elderly client for his own benefit.

It follows an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading into the purchase and resale of a Mullum property that saw Mr Kenny's company, Bale Building, pocket a gross profit of $240,000.

“Mr Kenny's five-year ban should serve as a strong warning to other real estate agents who are thinking of cheating their clients,” a Fair Trading spokesperson told The Northern Star.

He is also banned from being involved in the direction, management or conduct of a real estate business for five years.

The investigation followed a complaint lodged with the Office of Fair Trading over the October 2007 purchase of the property. Mr Kenny, who was representing the elderly seller, bought the land for $350,000.

Three days after the settlement with Mr Kenny's company, Bale Building Company Pty Ltd, he listed it for sale as two separate lots for a combined $328,000 more than the purchase price.

When marketing the properties Mr Kenny failed to disclose his financial interest in them to prospective buyers.

The properties eventually sold for a combined price of $590,000, generating a $240,000 profit for Bale.

“Mr Kenny exploited the trust of an elderly client for his own financial gain,” the Fair Trading spokesperson said. “As a result, Fair Trading cancelled his licence.

“His conduct constitutes a serious breach of the Property, Stock and Business Agents Act, which states clearly that a real estate agent must not obtain a beneficial interest in the properties they are selling.”

Mr Kenny did not return calls yesterday.



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