Developers Liable for Agents Misrepresentation

DevelopmentDisputes between developers and purchasers of “off the plan” units are relatively common but with carefully crafted contractual provisions in lengthy and complicated contracts, the odds are generally stacked well and truly in favour of the developer.

So, it was somewhat of a rare success for an off the plan purchaser, when the Brisbane District Court recently found in favour of a New Zealand couple who had signed up to buy a two bedroom Hilton Surfers Paradise apartment for $930,000.00 “off the plan”.

The New Zealand couple had been holidaying on the Gold Coast when a sales agent convinced them to put down a $5,000.00 deposit to secure what was said to be the “last two bedroom apartment available at that price” in the particular tower.  The agent represented that the property would be worth $1.1 million once the building had been completed and that it would be able to achieve rental returns of about $1,000.00 per night at 80% occupancy.

As it turned out, however, when the New Zealand couple did an inspection of the unit after construction but prior to settlement, they realised that the property was never going to be worth what the agent had represented and similarly, that it would never be able to achieve the rental returns promised.

The purchasers refused to settle and were duly sued by the developer who, by that point in time, had re-sold the unit for only $620,000.00 a year later and had achieved about $3,900.00 in rental income over that period.

In handing down his decision, Judge McGill in the Brisbane District Court found that there had been misleading and deceptive conduct on the part of the agent and that this was something for which the developer was liable.  His Honour thought that despite the contractual terms, they could not take the benefit of the misconduct as that would be contrary to the intention of the consumer protection legislation.

For builders, developers and project managers, the decision highlights how important it is to ensure that anyone selling your product sticks strictly to the script!

Travis Schultz
Managing Partner
Schultz Toomey O’Brien
Ph: (07) 5413 8900
Fax: (07) 5413 8958

Tips for buying a home

Buying a houseBelow are some tips when looking at buying a home

Before you start looking:

  • Save for a deposit
  • Research the market
  • Know the full costs
  • Appoint a real estate agent
  • Appoint a solicitor
  • Property valuations

Finance when buying a home:

  • Choosing a home loan
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Home loan features
  • High-risk home loans

Ways to buy your home:

  • Buying at auction
  • Buying off the plan
  • Buying privately

Making an offer on a home:

  • Contract of sale
  • Cooling-off period
  • Home & contents insurance
  • Inspections

Are you thinking of selling your house this Spring?

shutterstock_137432012-resizedHere a few tips to help you prepare for a Spring Sale!

  1. Clean & Declutter
  2. Do a thorough inspection
  3. Eliminate odors
  4. Paint
  5. Finish projects & repairs
  6. Clean or replace flooring
  7. Freshen up fixtures & hardware
  8. Create a welcoming entrance
  9. Stage
  10. Get your real price.

Don’t forget we can help with you the buying or selling of a property. Contact STOLAW today on 1300 STOLAW or visit our website www.stolaw.com.au

Preparing to sell your property

Realestate.com.au has a great checklist when you are preparing to sell your property.

  1. Make the decision to sell
  2. Prepare your property
  3. Choose an agent
  4. How to sell
  5. Determine your selling price
  6. Prepare the contract of sale
  7. Marketing your property
  8. Going on the market
  9. Negotiation or auction
  10. Under contract
  11. Settlement day.

You can read more on realestate.com.au here:

Legal issues to consider when starting a business

legal-issuesWhen you are starting a business there are certain laws that you must consider and find out whether they apply to your new business. You may want to consult with a legal professional who can assist you with the legal requirements that you must comply with.

In order to stay compliant with your business, below are six legal issues you should consider.

  1. Business registrations
  2. Licences
  3. Privacy Act
  4. Anti-bullying Laws
  5. Independent contractors
  6. Unfair dismissal

For further information about these issues visit http://www.business.gov.au/business-topics/starting-a-business/Pages/legal-essentials-for-business.aspx

To speak to a commercial lawyer, contact us today 1300 STOLAW or www.stolaw.com.au