Significant differences exist between different titles (e.g. strata titles and off-the-plan titles). DIY conveyancing is risky. Mortgages are offered in many forms. The First Home Owners Grant has strict eligibility terms. Compare real estate agents’ costs when selling. Buyers should be prepared for auction tactics and signing the sale contract. Cooling-off applies but deposits can be forfeited if the contract is broken. Buyers must pay stamp duty and pay for caveats and Land Registry searches.

Contributor

Laura Vickers

Principal Solicitor, Nest Legal

Complaints related to buying or selling a house

Last updated

1 July 2020

Complaints about estate agents

The Business Licensing Authority (BLA) (see ‘Contacts’ at the end of this chapter) deals with disputes involving estate agents. The BLA provides advice and handles consumer complaints. The service is free.

If the BLA believes that an agent has breached the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Vic) or its regulations, including the professional rules, it can refer the matter to the Disciplinary Tribunal. The tribunal considers whether the agent’s licence should be suspended or cancelled. The tribunal can fine the agent or require undertakings from the agent. Agents can appear at the tribunal without a lawyer, although most are represented. The tribunal cannot order that an agent’s client be reimbursed for a loss caused by an agent’s unprofessional behaviour, but it can order compensation if the complaint concerned taking an excessive commission.

Complaints about solicitors and conveyancers

Complaints about solicitors are handled under the Legal Profession Uniform Law 2014 (Vic). The legal profession is regulated by a commissioner. (For more information, see Chapter 2.1: Legal representation.) Complaints against licensed conveyancers are handled by the BLA and can end up in VCAT.

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