News

Office of Fair Trading puts real estate agents on notice

News >> Professional Indemnity

OFT puts real estate agents on notice
OFT has recently received a number of complaints about real estate agencies in a particular area advertising properties with incorrect or misleading information, especially regarding the suburb in which a property is located.

A number of complaints have been investigated and agents put on notice about the consequences of breaching legislation that outlaws misrepresentation in advertising. Agents may see it as relatively harmless to advertise a property as being in a neighbouring suburb which is perceived to be more prestigious than its actual location.  In reality however, this is a clear example of misrepresentation.

Any advertising which contains incorrect information, whether intentionally or otherwise, would constitute a breach of OFT legislation. Penalties up to $1 100 000 currently exist for corporations and $220 000 for individuals who present any false or misleading information.

In a real estate setting there are several factors agents should keep in mind when advertising:

  • 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 in located in one suburb when clearly it is not.

OFT has written to over 70 agents in the area in question alerting them to this final point and the potential consequences of being found to have breached the legislation.

OFT will continue to monitor this issue and not hesitate to investigate likely cases of misrepresentation where they become apparent.

For further information on misrepresentation of information, visit the OFT website.



 

Last changed: May 06 2012 at 8:18 PM

Comments

  1. None Found

Add Comment

Latest News

Robert Cooper - one of 100 faces of small business

This week it was announced as part of Small Business Week,  that Robert has been named one of the 100 faces of small business for a State Government promotion on the great value that small businesses play in the State of Queensland.

You can see Robert's entry here:

It is the third accolade for CPR Insurance Services in a month and after seven and a half years in business is a real pep up for the company.

For Robert, it is the culmination of many years experience, becoming well qualified, experiencing the highs and lows of a career and always wanting to contribute to his community. Sometimes, these things just come together and you receive recognition for your efforts.

Robert says that there is no doubt that starting your own business is a huge challenge, but with the right research and planning, the right people around you and a good set of values that you apply to the vision of the company, you have a very good chance of making it all succeed.

Robert says he is lucky. He has a strong supportive Wife, Mandy, who is also part of the business, along with efficient and hard working staff such as Julia McLauchlan and Aidan Harmer who are building up their own skills in a learning environment. 

However, the most important and most supportive people for CPR Insurance Services are our clients who have stuck by us and supported us over the past seven years. Our focus remains on providing the best possible service we can and always acting in their best interests. To all our clients, we say thank you!

read more

CPR Insurance wins Brokerage of the year

CPR Insurance Services picked up the award for the Best Brokerage (1-5 staff) in Australia, last Friday Night (4th May 2018) at the Insurance Business Magazine Awards held at the Westin in Sydney.

Judging came from various parts of the industry. It is a great honour to be recognised for our hard work and particular Business values we follow. A full list of winners is listed here.

Success comes from having great staff, and we thank Aidan Harmer and Julia McLauchlan as important support staff for helping us win such an award.

CPR Insurance has been in operation for more than 7 years now and is only successful because of the wonderful support from our staff, insurers and most importantly, our fantastic clients who put their faith and trust into our company to be their Risk Advisers and Brokers. 

Thank you to all.

read more