An Auckland real estate agent has been stripped of his licence after he was caught sleeping and showering in an apartment his employer was about to sell at auction.
Geoffrey Mairs, formerly of Bayleys, was photographed leaving the Mission Bay home in February last year. He claimed he was there to show someone the property, then said he'd had permission from one of his colleagues to stay the night.
The lies came unstuck when the colleague, David Anderson, provided text messages showing Mr Mairs in a panic about what to do when he was caught.
"Wt do I say Do I just grab my stuff and run I'm in the bathroom hiding Do you reckon I could say I know the owners or something. Or run?" one of the texts read.
Mr Anderson asked what he was talking about.
"Yeah you don't want to tell them I was just getting changed before I show a client through," replied Mr Mairs.
"Are you f**king joking? You'd better not be in the property I'm listing," responded Mr Anderson.
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Mr Mairs told the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal Mr Anderson said he could stay in the property, and that he didn't know it was for sale.
The tribunal rejected this because the presence of 'for sale' signs outside the property and the way the interior was staged for photographs should have made it obvious, and Mr Anderson's texts indicated he had no idea what Mr Mairs was doing.
Mr Mairs was found guilty of disgraceful conduct in April. In its just-released sentencing decision, the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal says it decided to cancel his licence because he's not a "fit and proper person" and is "simply unsuitable" to sell property because he lied to investigators, threatened them with legal action and used "insulting language".
Mr Mairs applied to have the decision kept secret, saying it would harm his future employment prospects. The tribunal agreed that it would, but that it was in the "public interest" to name him.