Interviewed for Domain news article about unfair Buyer Beware law!
Trish Mackie-Smith was interviewed for the article published on the Domain news website titled:
Buyer beware: What are your rights if you purchase a shonky property? by Ameila Barnes
The article refers to our current lack of consumer protection when it comes to buying property. It quotes Trish Mackie-Smith: “When it comes to the condition of the properties being sold, the buyer beware doctrine is woefully inadequate. Sellers do not necessarily have to disclose defects of which they are aware.” It mentions that the only place in Australia that offers statutory protection for buyers of property is in the Australian Capital Territory. There the buyer can invoke provisions of their legislation against a vendor or selling agent for failing to provide a building and compliance report or for giving false documents. The buyer can legally rely on these documents. This has been working effectively in Canberra for the last 14 years and Trish has been campaigning for the rest of Australia to follow suit here: sign here and by way of a Queensland petition which was tabled in Queensland parliament in August last year.
Until we update our laws like in the UK and the USA, for the rest of Australia’s consumers their only recourse against a former owner and selling agent is an action in damages for misleading or deceptive misrepresentation about the structural soundness relied upon by the buyer. “Taking this action in court is a very difficult, costly and stressful path to take,” says Trish Mackie-Smith.
So it is imperative that all buyers of property ensure they do full and thorough due diligence because that is their only safeguard against buying faulty properties.