VIC Could I sue real estate agent?

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Abbeyroadcrossing

New Member
22 July 2021
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Hello,

My partner and I recently purchased our first house in the Dandenong Ranges. The transaction was extremely stressful.

My partner and I really loved the house, but the building report showed that a load bearing wall had been knocked out without a permit. The work was done very poorly and compromised the structural integrity of the house.

We tried to put a clause in the contract that stipulated that the work be rectified. We wanted a structural engineer to survey the work and create a plan, which a builder would follow.

The vendors refused to include this clause in the contract, but promised us they would get the work rectified. They promised (via the real estate agent) that they would get a structural engineer to create a plan which would be followed by a builder. The real estate agent reassured us that all of our concerns about the wall would be addressed. We were thanked repeatedly for our "good faith". The real estate also told us that "we had nothing to worry about because these are good people".

My partner and I were extremely stressed about the surging price of property in Victoria and made the decision to trust the real estate agent. I know this makes us sound naive. But we had been searching for a very long time, liked the house and were desperate to get on the property ladder.

Fast forward a few weeks, and things go bad. The vendors get a structural engineer in who draws up a plan. I personally attended this inspection along with the vendors. who gave me his word that every part of the plan would be followed. We even discussed where certain studs would be put in. The vendors then employ a builder who proceeds to ignore half of the prescribed plan. We freaked out and ask for the engineer to review the work and sign off on it. His report showed that the work did not meet his recommendations and he still has concerns about the structural integrity of the house.

The real estate agent then went very quiet and we were frustrated by how long it took him to reply to our emails. As mentioned, he had previously reassured us the work would be done in accordance with an engineers plans.

Do we have any recourse for this situation? Both my partner and I knew that we were taking a risk, but we walked away feeling we had been scammed.

Thank you in advance for your advice.
 
Last edited:

Tim W

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
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Sydney
This matter is complex, and we don't do case specific advice online.
I suggest taking a trip down to Ringwood and having a meeting with @Rod.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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2,894
Hmm, you likely have a case against the Vendor, not so convinced about the Real Estate agent.

I am concerned though by your comment saying 'you have walked away feeling scammed'.

Have you suffered any loss?