Jawitz Properties is taking urgent legal action against its Jeffreys Bay franchise owner, Renette Block amid serious allegation of theft.
It is also alleged that there have been misappropriations of funds held in trust and funds paid to the franchise on behalf of their clients.
Herschel Jawitz, chief executive officer of Jawitz Properties says they were alerted to possible problems when their head office started receiving complaints at the end of 2011 from property owners who were not being paid their rent, which was paid to the Jeffreys Bay franchise office by tenants.
“When these problems were not being resolved by the franchise owner, we realised there was a problem and launched a full investigation of our own including appointing auditors to audit the trust account,” says Jawitz.
The group has taken immediate steps to cancel the franchise agreement and is seeking an urgent court interdict against Block, preventing her from having any access to the business and the business bank accounts.
Jawitz Franchise Systems has also laid criminal charges against the franchise owner Block with the Jeffreys Bay police.
In addition, the matter has been reported to the Estate Agency Affairs Board (the EAAB), the industry regulatory body for further investigation.
The EAAB has frozen the franchise’s trust account and if found guilty, Block could have her license revoked.
“Our first priority is to our clients and we are doing whatever we can to manage the situation.”