Court Orders St. John’s Councilor Real Estate Agent Debbie Hanlon to Pay Nearly $ 10,000



The Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from the real estate agency of St. John’s City Councilor Debbie Hanlon regarding nearly $ 10,000 in unpaid commissions.

In its ruling on Monday, the Supreme Court upheld a provincial court ruling on December 15, 2020 that Hanlon’s company was about to pay after breaking a contract to pay real estate commissions.

Hanlon appealed, arguing that the trial judge had applied the law incorrectly and that the respondent’s claim was prohibited under the Province’s Real Estate Trading Act. The law only allows agents to earn a commission if they were licensed when the services were rendered.

According to the Supreme Court ruling, an agreement was reached in June 2019 between Hanlon and a now retired real estate agent for the agent to transfer his current and future real estate listings to Hanlon, who would then give 90% of the commission to the agent if the properties were to be sold.

Hanlon would keep the remaining 10 percent of the commission and would receive $ 200 per month from the agent, who would be required to pay his own real estate agent fees. The agent license was canceled effective September 6, 2019.

Among the properties transferred to Hanlon was a house in Paradise, which was listed for sale for $ 455,000 in August 2019. When the house sold for $ 365,000 in April 2020, Hanlon refused to pay the property. ‘other agent the money owed to him under their agreement.

The officer sued Hanlon for the money, with the trial judge finding Hanlon owed a total of $ 9,219.15.

The judge found that Hanlon, seen here outside his office, attempted to unilaterally change a deal with another real estate agent and declared the deal completely illegal when that agent disagreed. (Katie Breen / CBC)

In his 2020 ruling, the trial judge found that Hanlon’s testimony at the provincial court trial showed “somewhat gratuitous” animosity towards the other real estate agent.

The judge found that Hanlon tried to unilaterally change the deal to a 50/50 split of the commission, but when the other real estate agent disagreed with the changes, Hanlon claimed the deal was illegal and that the agent should not receive any money at all. .

Monday’s Supreme Court ruling found no error in the trial judge’s application of the law and dismissed the appeal.

Hanlon isn’t the only St. John’s city councilor to gain attention for his real estate work, however.

Com. Ron Ellsworth, who is also a real estate agent, created a controversy over an advertisement posted on Facebook in November that municipal rezoning could improve the value of a property it sells.

Memorial University political scientist Russell Williams said the ad was a conflict of interest as it appears to blend her private interest as a real estate agent with her public responsibilities as a city councilor.

Ellsworth declined interview requests but emailed a statement saying he hadn’t done anything that broke city rules.

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