UPDATE: Kelowna realtor fined after admitting to his third case of professional misconduct - InfoNews

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UPDATE: Kelowna realtor fined after admitting to his third case of professional misconduct

Kelowna realtor A.J. Hazzi admitted to his third case of professional misconduct
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Vantage West Realty
May 07, 2019 - 9:42 AM

KELOWNA - A Kelowna realtor has been hit with $6,500 in penalties and has to take two training courses after being found to have committed professional misconduct over a failed real estate deal.

Adrian Joseph (A.J.) Hazzi of Vantage West Realty Inc. was representing a buyer for a property on Graham Road in Kelowna in August 2016, according to a Consent Order issued by the Real Estate Council of B.C.

A purchase agreement was made and a $20,000 deposit was required, with the first payment of $5,000 due within 24 hours.

That first payment was not made and the buyer subsequently pulled out of the deal.

Hazzi did not notify the proper authorities that the deposit had not been made. That has to be done promptly or the seller risks losing sales to other prospective buyers.

The Real Estate Council of B.C. oversees realtors. In cases where a realtor wants to admit to the charges against him, he can propose a settlement that avoids the time and expense of a formal hearing. That was the case here so a Consent Order was issued, according to the council.

It took until June 2018 for Hazzi to be charged by the council.

He agreed that he had not delivered the contract to his managing broker and did not inform the broker promptly that the deposit had not been made.

Hazzi agreed to pay a $5,000 penalty to the council plus $1,500 in council expenses. He also must take two courses: Real Estate Trading Services Remedial Education and Broker’s Remedial Education.

This follows on two earlier penalties for professional misconduct.

In 2007 he was handed a 30-day suspension and had to take another course. In that case, he agreed that he had done a number of inappropriate things, including acting as an agent of the buyer when it was inappropriate to do so.

At the time, he was working for Norwich Real Estate Services Inc. and represented a customer who was trying to buy a manufactured home from Frontline Ventures Ltd., whose sole owner and director was Hazzi’s father.

In that case, he also failed to deliver a contract to his brokerage but also failed to “act with reasonable care and skill in a real estate transaction” and failed to “advise the buyer to seek independent legal advice.”

In 2016, he admitted to professional misconduct and had to pay expenses to the council for a 2013 strata property transaction on Brown Road in West Kelowna.

That deal involved two other agents at Vantage West Realty. Hazzi was the managing broker at that time.

He admitted to “failing to properly monitor the Contract to ensure the deposit had been received by the brokerage,” failing to review the contract and failing to make sure everyone was properly informed about the contract.

After this story ran, Hazzi contacted iNFOnews.ca to add his explanation.

The “buyer” he was representing was actually his own company making an offer on the Graham Road property. One condition of the offer was that the land had to be subdividable, he said.

Since the agreement was reached on a Saturday, the deposit could not be made within 24 hours because banks were not open Sunday, he said. On Monday, the deposit was due to go into his own company’s account, in trust. But, first, he checked with the city and found out that the land could not be subdivided so he cancelled the deal, he said.

Hazzi said he should have deposited the money with his own company then withdrawn it later the same day.

He also said that it was simpler and cheaper to admit guilt and pay the fine than spend as much as $18,000 in legal fees and attend a hearing in Vancouver.

He said that nothing “nefarious” happened in this, or the two earlier cases, and no one was harmed.

- This story was updated May 7, 2019 at 1:52 p.m.to add comments from Hazzi.

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