Chris VedelagoMay 21, 2011
Developers and Real Estate agents can now be liable for changing conditions of off-the-plan purchases.
A promised view that did not materialise dropped a developer into hot water – and court.
Buyers, developers and promoters of off-the-plan projects should take note of a recent Queensland court case in which two buyers received compensation from a developer who was found to have misrepresented the views offered from the apartments.
The buyers alleged that two of the penthouse apartments in a Sunshine Coast project — costing about $1.2 million each — were promised to have water views that would not be obstructed by another project planned closer to the beach.
When it turned out after construction the views were impeded, the buyers filed a lawsuit against the developer and selling agents for making false, misleading and deceptive representations under the Trade Practices Act (now the Competition and Consumer Act).
The Queensland Supreme Court found the developer was liable for the representations made and awarded $283,000 and $216,000 in compensation. (The suit against the estate agents was settled out of court for $200,000 for each owner.)
The case demonstrates that developers and selling agents can be held liable for both verbal and written representations they make about the features of OTP projects.