QLD Joint Tenant on Property Contract

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graham newson

14 November 2014
several years ago my father and brother purchased a property as joint tenants, my father paying 40% in cash and my brother borrowed 60% with a mortgage against the property. It was intended they bought the property as tenants in common, however put joint tenants on the sale contract.

Recently my father who is 85 years old verbally agreed to sell his share to my brother. (who had enduring power of attorny for my father). The property was valued at 490,000 and the half share of 245,000 was the stated price on which my brother paid stamp duty. When my father moved close to md I found out that he had only received 76,000 from the sale. Inquiries with the solicitor acting for my brother show on the final settlement statement that of the approx 490,000 advanced to my brother by the bank, 355,000 was paid to pay out my brothers mortgage to another bank, 76,000 to my father, and approx 59,000 back go my brother.

The solicitor stated that he was only acting on behalf of my brother and only did as he was instructed by my brother. The solicitor does not have any documentation to account for the difference between the sale price and the 76,000 received, nor does he have a sale contract or agreement. My father believed the solicitor was acting for them both.

My question is
1.how can a sale go ahead without documentation showing how my father ended up with only 76,000 (centrelink will want to know)
2. Should the solicitor have something signed by by father acknowledging that my father was acting on his own behalf. (is there a duty of care or like)

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Graham,

1. A solicitor should not have been acting for the buyer and seller in the same matter. There is a clearly a conflict of interest and the solicitor should have made this clear to both the son and father and made clear who the solicitor was acting for in this case and advised the other party to seek independent legal council. This could be basis for lodging a complaint against the solicitor: see "Legal Services Commission - complaints" and "QLD Law Society - resolving complaints"

2. I'm a bit confused, your father and brother hold the property as joint tenants. Your father then wishes to sell his "share" to your brother. How much was he willing to sell his "share" for?

3. In any sale, or dealings with property, the transaction needs to be in writing. Do you have an agreement in writing?