A Greater Victoria real estate agent was fined $9,000 for professional misconduct after advising a buyer to pay more than $40,000 in cash to avoid taxes, among other infractions.
Whitney Garside, at that time with the brokerage RE/MAX Camosun, was found to have committed professional misconduct by a discipline committee of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (RECBC).
In a decision posted online Dec. 9, RECBC writes that Garside “failed to act honestly and with reasonable care and skill” when she told a buyer that they could pay a sum of $42,000 directly to the seller, as part of the purchase price, so the purchase would be below the threshold of the Property Transfer Tax (PTT).
The property in question was being sold by Garside’s father. That information was disclosed, but Garside did not inform RE/MAX of the direct-payment arrangement or deliver a letter from the buyer, agreeing to that arrangement, RECBC writes.
Garside also failed to remit $10,000 to the brokerage, which she received on behalf of the client and was intended to be paid to the seller as part of the purchase price.
Finally, the real estate agent falsely advertised the lot size of the property as 8,712 square feet, when it was actually 4,710 square feet.
Garside agreed to several penalties ordered by the discipline committee, including a 60-day suspension, a $7,500-penalty and the payment of $1,500 in enforcement expenses.
She will also have to complete a course on ethics in business and real estate trading services.
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