Estate agents regret Machanik’s downfall

Posted On Monday, 24 January 2011 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Property players yesterday expressed sadness at the downfall of property doyenne Wendy Machanik, but welcomed a widespread investigation into malpractice in the industry by the Estate Agency Affairs Board.


Lew Geffen

On Friday, the board won an urgent court bid to interdict Ms Machanik and her close corporation, Wendy Machanik Properties, from continued trading, even under the guise of a new corporate entity.

The board had gone to court urgently because, despite a December court order that put all the Wendy Machanik Properties’ trust funds under curatorship, the board had been “tipped off” that Ms Machanik was planning on continuing trading as an estate agent under a new name: “Winter Acorn Properties, trading as Wendy Machanik”.

Institute of Estate Agents of SA president Andrew Golding said it was “unfortunate” that an interdict had been granted in order to stop the business of Wendy Machanik Properties from trading altogether, in the process materially affecting former Wendy Machanik Properties’ agents whose concluded transactions, and therefore commissions, would probably be impinged upon.

However, Mr Golding said the institute supported the efforts of the industry regulators to ensure that the correct procedures were followed in order to make certain that trust accounts were correctly managed and audited.

Lew Geffen, the chairman of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty SA, said: “I feel very sorry for Wendy Machanik. She’s been a long-term operator for at least 40 years that I can remember, and it is sad to see that she’s fallen foul of the law.”

In its high court application, the board said neither Ms Machanik nor Machanik Properties had been issued with fidelity fund certificates for this year because they had not submitted an auditor’s report, as required by law.

Without the certificates, issued by the board, an estate agent is not legally able to operate.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, Ms Machanik said she felt “bitter, sad, downhearted and betrayed”. Ms Machanik and her lawyer, Cyril Ziman, said she had been singled out for prosecution for practices that were widespread in the industry.

Last modified on Wednesday, 12 March 2014 13:17

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