Register
Professional Misconduct

Freda Hodder-Fordham


Address: WA, Australia
Sex: Female
Occupation: Sales
Date: 16 April 2008


Details



The State Administrative Tribunal agreed for a proper cause for disciplinary action against Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd, Freda Hodder-Fordham and Neville Byrnes. 

On or about 26 December 2005 the sellers appointed Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd as their real estate agent to sell the property pursuant to an agreement.

The selling agency agreement had certain information inserted by Hodder-Fordham who then signed the selling agency agreement as the representative of Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd.

The selling agency agreement provided that the land area of the property was 4 acres and that the agent's selling fee was set out in the attached schedule.  There was no schedule attached to the selling agency agreement.

On 7 January 2006, the property was advertised by Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd through Hodder-Fordham in The West Australian newspaper as a "4ac bush block".  The property was at the material time also advertised as being 4 acres in the window of the office of Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd.

On or about 8 January 2006, a Contract for Sale of Land or Strata Title by Offer and Acceptance between the sellers and the buyer was executed which provided for the sale of the property to the buyer.  The 2002 general conditions were incorporated into the contract.

The buyer was known to Hodder-Fordham from another real estate transaction. The buyer has a diagnosed comprehension disorder of which Hodder-Fordham was aware.  For this reason, Hodder-Fordham usually had dealings with the buyer in the presence of the buyer's mother or with her knowledge.

The contract was filled in and witnessed by Hodder-Fordham. The buyer's mother and stepfather were present when the buyer signed the contract.

On 12 January 2006 Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd invoiced the Sellers for $5,775.00 in respect of the commission due for the sale of the property.

On or about 1 February 2006 a faxed copy of the certificate title for the property was received by Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd and Hodder-Fordham from a settlement agency. Hodder-Fordham subsequently attended the council office to view a clear diagram of the property.

On or about 13 February 2006, after Hodder-Fordham had viewed the diagram of the property at the council, Hodder-Fordham contacted the buyer and the buyer's mother. Hodder-Fordham advised the buyer and the buyer's mother that the property was not 4 acres as initially represented but 1.362 hectares, approximately 3.4 acres; and the buyer could withdraw from the contract.

Shortly thereafter Hodder-Fordham advised Byrnes of the misrepresentation of the area of the property; and the sellers about the misrepresentation of the area of the property and that the buyer still intended to complete the purchase of the property.

The buyer sought legal advice regarding the misrepresentation of the area of the property.

On or about 18 February 2006, the buyer attended a final inspection of the property and confirmed in writing that he wished to proceed to settlement. The amended settlement statement dated 20 February 2006 showed Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd's selling fee as being $5,775.00.

On or about 20 or 21 February 2006 the sale of the property settled and Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd received $5,775.00 from the sellers in respect of its commission.

On or about 22 February 2006 Byrnes spoke with the buyer's mother who stated that compensation for the buyer was warranted in the circumstances.

Shortly afterwards, Hodder-Fordham drafted a document to be signed by the buyer that purported to limit the liability of Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd and others in respect of the misrepresentation of the area of the Property. Byrnes approved the wording of the exclusion of liability document.

On or about 25 February 2006 Hodder-Fordham arrived at the residential property of the buyer without prior notice. Hodder-Fordham produced the exclusion of liability document. Hodder-Fordham left the exclusion of liability document with the buyer.

On or about 27 February 2006, Hodder-Fordham arrived again at the residential property of the buyer without prior notice, together with her partner. Hodder-Fordham left after the buyer stated that he left the exclusion of liability document with his mother.

Eastern Districts Trading Pty Ltd was ordered to pay $1,500 fines, $750 costs and $5,775 to the sellers. Hodder-Fordham was ordered to pay $3,000 fines, $750 costs and was suspended until full payment was made. Byrnes was ordered to pay $2,500 fines, $750 costs and was suspended until full payment was made.