No appeal in BresicWhitney underquoting case

No appeal in BresicWhitney underquoting case
No appeal in BresicWhitney underquoting case

The NSW Fair Trading department will not be appealing the judgement by the magistrate of Blacktown Local Court that dismissed all charges against BresicWhitney Estate Agents Pty Ltd for falsely understating the estimated selling prices when marketing properties in 2014.

After a considerably delayed trial, the dismissal came on a technicality concerning the term ‘employee’ in the Property Stock and Business Agents Act 2002 (the Act).

In this case the ‘operating’ arm of the business was the licence holder and undertook the business of a real estate agent.

A subsidiary company ‘employed’ the employees.

As a result the court found the ‘employees’ who made the statements about price, which were less than the estimated selling price in the agency agreement, were not technically employed by the licensed agent.

"This is not the policy intent of the provisions and in his findings the Magistrate acknowledged the likelihood that the business was structured in a way that would insulate it to some degree against liability in the event of such matters," a department spokesperson advised.

While the prosecution was taken under the old laws, the Government is now committed to legislative repair.

"Consumers can be assured any legal loopholes will be closed," the spokesperson advised.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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