Incorrect Suburbs

The office of fair Trading has issued a warning that they are cracking down on agents that advertise a property as being in a different suburb to the one in which it is really located.

This is clearly misleading and deceptive conduct and a breach of the PAMD ACT. While it will be hard for a buyer to prove they have suffered damages the Office of Fair Trading does not have to prove damages to prosecute an agent.

As an agent has to make reasonable enquiries to establish which suburb the property is located in, it will not be a defence to say you made a mistake.

Set out below is an extract from the office of Fair Trading reminding you of your responsibilities:
  • An agent must take reasonable steps to find out or verify the facts material to the lease or sale to avoid error, omission, exaggeration or misrepresentation.
  • An agent must encourage their client (the seller) to disclose all relevant facts about the property.
  • If an agent has information about detrimental features of the property they are engaged to sell, the agent is required to disclose this information to prospective buyers.
  • An agent is guilty of misrepresentation if they wilfully conceal a material fact about a property, such as a previous flooding.
  • An agent must not make misleading statements about the layout of a property.
  • An agent must not give the impression to buyers that a property is located in one suburb when clearly it is not
 
If you have any questions in relation to this issue please do not hesitate to contact Roland Taylor in our Mackay office on (07) 4963 0807 or at rtaylor@swc.net.au.