Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Misleading use of photographs to sell a property


Media Release

Issued 16 November 2001/114

Orewa real estate agent pleads guilty to the misleading use of photographs to sell a property

The use of misleading photographs in its promotion of a property for sale has cost Orewa real estate agent Olsen and Everson Ltd, trading as Olsen-Everson, $2,750 in the North Shore District Court.

Olsen-Everson pleaded guilty to breaching section 14 of the Fair Trading Act. This is the second real estate agent to be prosecuted over similar breaches in the North Shore District Court in the last three months. In September, Sails Realty from Mangawhai Northland was fined $2,000 for a similar breach. In both cases, the photographs showed a beach view that was not attainable from the properties.

Commerce Commission Chair John Belgrave said the Commission would continue to use court action to reinforce its messages, but now that it has established some court precedents, it expected the Real Estate Institute to take a proactive role in ensuring its members complied with the Fair Trading Act.

"Industry bodies have an important role to play in protecting those members who play by the rules, and they should not rely solely on the Commerce Commission to keep their other members in line," said Mr Belgrave.

In the 2000/2001 financial year, the Commission received 276 complaints and enquiries about real estate issues, an increase of 60% over the previous year. The Commission has taken six prosecutions in the last 12 months, and has three more cases in court at present. "We know that the real estate industry is a highly competitive market place. However any unfair advantage achieved through misleading advertising not only hurts consumers, but also those traders who have been advertising honestly."

Olsen-Everson used a photograph of an elevated view of Orewa Beach in the advertisements to attract prospective purchasers to the property. The overall impression created by the photograph was that it represented the view from the property, which was not the case.

An agent representing Olsen-Everson advised the Commission during its investigation that at the time the property was listed, there was pressure to market the property for an auction. As the weather was poor on the day he went to photograph the property, and rather than wait for better weather, he decided to use photos of Orewa Beach obtained from the Rodney District Council. The advertisements appeared at least twice in The Coaster Property Guide and once in the North Shore Property Press.

Judge Barry Morris said that by agreeing to plead guilty, the defendant was acknowledging that the photograph had "overpainted" or "embroidered" the view from the property.

The Orewa branch of Olsen-Everson was one of 20 branch offices in the Auckland region. It changed ownership on 1 December 2000 just after the offending advertising appeared. It still operates using the Olsen-Everson brand name, under a franchise arrangement.

Olsen-Everson was also ordered to pay $130 court costs.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>

ALSO:


ASB: Quarterly Economic Forecast Predicts OCR Hike As Early As August 2022

Predictions of interest rate rises have been brought forward 12 months in ASB’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast. Chief Economist Nick Tuffley now expects the RBNZ to begin raising the OCR from its current level of 0.25% as early as August ... More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Drops To 4.9 Percent As Employment Picks Up

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, from 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Last quarter’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent followed the largest increase observed ... More>>