A second B.C. real estate agent has been ordered to pay more than $30,000 for failing to notify his clients about an impending special levy before they purchased a condo in White Rock.
Jitendra Angelo Dehideniya has six months to pay the $30,000 discipline penalty plus $1,500 in enforcement expenses under a consent order he agreed to with the B.C. Financial Services Authority.
He must also complete the Real Estate Trading Services Remedial Education Course at UBC’s Sauder School of Business within three months, according to the order.
The discipline stems from an incident that occurred in 2018. At the time, Dehideniya had only recently joined Sutton Group – West Coast Realty and was a junior member of the group that marketed itself as “The BC Elite Real Estate Group,” according to the consent order.
A retired couple from Langley approached the team’s lead – identified in the order only as SY – looking to move to White Rock. Dehideniya and SY conducted a property search, and the buyers eventually entered into an agreement to purchase a condo in a four-storey, 39-unit strata building that was built in 1986.
The agreement was subject to the review of strata documents – including meeting minutes, bylaws, financial statements and more – by the buyers.
According to the consent order, those documents were provided to Dehideniya the day before subject conditions were due to be removed and a deposit paid.
The order indicates Dehideniya didn’t share the documents with the buyers until June 8, 2018, well after they had completed their purchase and moved into the condo.
If they had received the documents on time, they likely would have known that the strata council was planning a special levy to pay for improvements to the building envelope, with a total cost anticipated to be around $2 million.
Instead, according to the order, the couple found out about their potentially large liability from one of their new neighbours – a strata council member – as they were moving in.
The final cost of the special levy for the buyers’ unit ended up being more than $61,000, a total they couldn’t afford. They ended up selling the property a little more than a year after buying it.
“Mr. Dehideniya told BCFSA that he did not provide the strata documents to the buyers as they did not have email and he could not print hundreds of pages and mail them,” the consent order reads.
2ND MISCONDUCT PENALTY IN CASE
In the consent order, Dehideniya agrees that his handling of the situation amounted to professional misconduct.
He acknowledges that he “failed to make inquiries into the strata’s building envelope remediation project,” “failed to obtain, review, and provide to the buyers a complete set of strata documents” prior to their purchase, and “failed to advise the buyers to seek independent professional advice regarding the potential risks associated with the building envelope remediation project.”
Dehideniya is the second member of the Sutton Group–West Coast Realty team to be fined for professional misconduct in relation to his handling of the White Rock condo purchase.
In April, the BCFSA published a similar consent agreement regarding Suleman Yasin and his Personal Real Estate Corporation.
In that case, Yasin agreed to pay a $35,000 penalty and $1,500 in enforcement expenses, as well as to take the remedial course at UBC.
Neither Dehideniya nor Yasin has any previous discipline history with the BCFSA.