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QLD Stamp Duty - Converyancer Negligence?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by gazza007, 20 March 2016.

  1. gazza007

    gazza007 Member

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    We recently purchased two properties at the same time in Qld from the same vendor and used the same conveyancer for both transactions. Our issue is that the conveyancer failed to advise us specifically that aggregated stamp duty would apply as we were purchasing two properties from the same vendor at the same time. They, in fact, provided stamp duty figures that were significantly incorrect ~$8300 for one property due to aggregated stamp duty applying.

    1. “Aggregated Transfer Duty” not mentioned in engagement letters but was included in generic “Residential Conveyancing Booklet” provided.

    2. Settlement Statements not provided before settlement (Wed, 13th Jan) even though it was requested on Tue, 12th Jan. Provided after the settlement had occurred and only after specifically requesting both be emailed.

    3. Additional Transfer Duty payable on one Unit of $8,287.50 was not highlighted at any stage by conveyancer until we noticed it on settlement statement supplied post settlement.

    4. If we had been provided the settlement statements before settlement (This is the normal practise I would have thought and I did request this on Tue, 12th Jan verbally in fact) I. may have picked this up and we could have even reacted at this late stage.
    5. If conveyancer had highlighted or even calculated the aggregated transfer duty correctly earlier we could have restructured purchase to minimize transfer duty payable or:
    a. Requested additional rebate from the vendor to cover the increased transfer duty.
    b. Had the option not to proceed with one or both purchases.
    c. Looked at putting the two contracts in separate names or even bought one within an SMSF if this was suitable.
    6. Conveyancer has not given us all the information needed and not fulfilled their obligations is our position which has effectively cost us up to $8,287.50 plus a lot of stress\anguish.

    Our question is whether conveyancer has any liability for negligence in the above. All we expected was professional services including all relevant information so we could make our own informed decisions. I just wanted to know if there is liability \ negligence before we or we get a lawyer to send the conveyancer a letter requesting compensation for their negligence or we intend to refer the matter to the Qld Legal Services Commission.

    Thanks in Advance
     
  2. Victoria S

    Victoria S Well-Known Member

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    You can only sue for negligence where you have suffered loss as a result of the negligence. If you have ended up paying amounts you would have had to pay anyway (although you didn't know about them) that would not classify as compensable damages. However if as you say, you have suffered financial losses as a result of the inaccurate information provided, then you may be able to recoup compensation to the value of your loss.

    You would need to decide whether the amount you would be pursuing is worth the additional stress and cost of litigation. I would contact your conveyancer and perhaps demand that he compensate you for the damage. They hold professional liability insurance, so you will be up against the insurer's lawyers once they notify their insurer of your complaint.
     

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