Estate agent files counter application

2011-01-14 10:36

A last-minute counter application was filed in the South Gauteng High Court by property mogul Wendy Machanik’s lawyers – aimed at enabling her to continue to operate as an estate agent.

City Press reported on Sunday that the top agent’s property agency was in such deep ­financial trouble that she had to dip into clients’ ­deposits to keep the business afloat and fund her lifestyle.

This was according to a forensic report, which formed the basis of a provisional court interdict prohibiting Machanik from touching money in her agency’s trust accounts.

Yesterday, her lawyers argued that Machanik’s Fidelity Fund Certificate, required to operate as an estate agent, was being held from her unlawfully.

The Estate Agency Affairs Board refused to grant Wendy Machanik Property Holdings (WMP) a fidelity fund certificate due to the company’s failure to submit an auditor’s report within the allotted time.

But Machanik’s lawyers pointed out that the obligation to submit the auditor’s report did not fall to Machanik in her personal capacity.Moreover, they say, Machanik had applied for the renewal of her fidelity fund certificate prior to October 30 last year.

It was on this basis that her lawyers asserted that she should be issued with a valid certificate for this year.

When confronted by presiding Judge Lötter Wepener on the allegations that WMP and Wendy Machanik in her personal capacity continued to trade this year without the regulatory certificates, Machanik’s lawyer’s stated that there was nothing substantial to show that either WMP or Machanik were operating as estate agents at present.In light of the counter application court was adjourned until Tuesday.

In the meantime, according to estate agency affairs board representative Gavin Schär, an agreement was reached and a provisional “hold” put in place whereby Wendy Machanik Property Holdings and Wendy Machanik in her personal capacity would “continue to not trade” until the matter had been decided next week.

According to Machanik’s legal representative, Cyril Ziman, if Machanik was issued with a valid fidelity fund certificate for this year she would be able to operate as an estate agent on her own, or through an alternative company or estate agency, as long as they were in possession of their own valid certificates.

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