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Rumour confirmed: Real estate industry faces a flood of legal action

THE RUMOUR FILE

A suburban property dispute has exposed a flaw in sales contracts that could see thousands of real estate agents forced to repay millions of dollars in commissions.

As reported in today’s Age and revealed on the Rumour File yesterday, the Real Estate Institute of Victoria and Consumer Affairs Victoria are facing legal action over claims the form given to some 5000 agents does not comply with state laws.

Justin Lawrence, partner from Henderson and Ball lawyers in Kew, confirmed the news with Ross and John today.

“It’s the exclusive sale authority,” Justin said.

“There’s two forms of it, there’s a long form and a short form of it.

“The courts have approved the long form because it has all the language required by the act in so far as commission and rebate is concerned.

“The short form however, is an abridged version of that form and the court has said, ‘I’m sorry but that doesn’t comply with the act’ and as a result the vendor is not responsible to provide commission to the agent.”

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