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Advising on market-changing divestments September 25, 2018

Maddocks  acted for the founder of Australia’s largest private pilot training school, Soar Aviation, on the group’s 50 percent sale to Australian private equity investor The Growth Fund. Soar Aviation was started in 2012 by … Continued

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Strong signals: Maddocks advises on television broadcast services outsourcing October 10, 2018

Wednesday 10 October 2018 Maddocks has advised NPC Media on its deal to provide playout services for Southern Cross Austereo’s 105 television broadcast signals through NPC Media’s new playout centre. NPC Media is a joint … Continued

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When being natural can be misleading: recent consideration of organic product claims October 15, 2018

Recent decisions by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Federal Court of Appeal have demonstrated that it can be a fine line between branding and product claims: with a wrong step amounting to … Continued

A warning for agents – how to avoid underquoting

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) commenced proceedings in the Federal Court last week against real estate agency Hoskins Maroondah (Hoskins) and its director, alleging, among other things, that Hoskins underquoted on the sale of 26 properties between 2015 and 2016.

The proceeding against Hoskins comes less than a week after the Federal Court imposed a penalty of

  • $160,000 on Manningham Property Group, trading as Hocking Stuart Doncaster, for underquoting on 9 properties; and
  • a record $880,000 on Fletcher & Parker Balwyn for misleading and deceptive conduct relating to underquoting on 22 properties.

This provides a stark reminder to real estate agencies to be aware of their responsibilities under the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Vic). In light of the ongoing investigations by CAV’s underquoting taskforce, agents must remember to:

  • ensure any estimated selling price is reasonable
  • notify the seller and revise the estimate if the agent becomes aware that the estimate is unreasonable
  • prepare a statement of information about residential properties they are selling
  • ensure that representations made to prospective purchasers do not contain prohibited terms, for example, using modifiers such as ‘starting at’ or ‘+’.

The above are key changes to the underquoting provisions in the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Vic) which came into effect on 1 May 2017.

More information

For further information on the amended underquoting provisions, please read our previous blogs,  The final piece in the underquoting puzzle – Parliament passes legislation to address underquoting and Underquoting under scrutiny – real estate agent penalised for underquoting.

Further assistance

Our lawyers are highly skilled in property transactions, dispute resolution and compliance with regulatory obligations.

If you require any assistance, please contact a member of our Dispute Resolution & Litigation or Property & Development teams.

Author
BRENDAN DUKE 5CM B&W JPG 2013 Brendan Duke | Lawyer
Tel +61 3 9258 3391
brendan.duke@maddocks.com.au

Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) commenced proceedings in the Federal Court last week against real estate agency Hoskins Maroondah (Hoskins) and its director, alleging, among other things, that Hoskins underquoted on the sale of 26 properties between 2015 and 2016.

The proceeding against Hoskins comes less than a week after the Federal Court imposed a penalty of

  • $160,000 on Manningham Property Group, trading as Hocking Stuart Doncaster, for underquoting on 9 properties; and
  • a record $880,000 on Fletcher & Parker Balwyn for misleading and deceptive conduct relating to underquoting on 22 properties.

This provides a stark reminder to real estate agencies to be aware of their responsibilities under the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Vic). In light of the ongoing investigations by CAV’s underquoting taskforce, agents must remember to:

  • ensure any estimated selling price is reasonable
  • notify the seller and revise the estimate if the agent becomes aware that the estimate is unreasonable
  • prepare a statement of information about residential properties they are selling
  • ensure that representations made to prospective purchasers do not contain prohibited terms, for example, using modifiers such as ‘starting at’ or ‘+’.

The above are key changes to the underquoting provisions in the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Vic) which came into effect on 1 May 2017.

More information

For further information on the amended underquoting provisions, please read our previous blogs,  The final piece in the underquoting puzzle – Parliament passes legislation to address underquoting and Underquoting under scrutiny – real estate agent penalised for underquoting.

Further assistance

Our lawyers are highly skilled in property transactions, dispute resolution and compliance with regulatory obligations.

If you require any assistance, please contact a member of our Dispute Resolution & Litigation or Property & Development teams.

Author
BRENDAN DUKE 5CM B&W JPG 2013 Brendan Duke | Lawyer
Tel +61 3 9258 3391
brendan.duke@maddocks.com.au