Withholding Information when Selling a House may cost you.
We have recently been consulted for advice by a real estate agent who has run into a bit of mishap whilst selling a client’s property. Recently, in a neighbouring block to where the property is placed, a Telstra communications tower is in the process of being built. This may not seem like such a problem, however this could lead to a fall in the value of the property on sale.
In the eyes of the law, failing to reveal this information may hold the agent liable to Section 87 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Withholding information puts the buyer at a disadvantage as he/she cannot make judgements regarding what is in their best interests. This is evident in the case of Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd v Amadio, where the Courts filed in favour of the disadvantaged party on the basis that the contract was unconscionable. The general law and REIQ contracts only orders and/or applications regarding changes to the property.
However, it could be argued that a 20 metre Telstra tower will impact upon the amenity of the block and therefore, will affect the value of the property, forcing the agent to disclose. Section 87 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 states that the court will order you to compensate the person who has suffered a loss, or is likely to suffer a loss, in full or in part.
If you are an agent and in a similar predicament yourself, or a seller and your property is in a similar predicament, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 HATZIS (1300 428 947) and speak with one of our trusted Conveyancing lawyers.
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