Real estate agent providing misleading information?

Hi, I am looking at buying a unit in an adjoining complex (different body corp). The for sale sign states that the unit has 2 parking
spaces (one in a garage and one on driveway in front of garage). However, there is a "no parking in driveway" sign at the entrance
to the driveway. My current body corp bylaws state that parking is prohibited in driveways, and i strongly suspect the
body corp of the unit I am interested in buying has the same bylaws. When I spoke to the real estate agent about this,
he said that the vendor had said it is legal to park in the driveway. Can the real estate agent just rehash what a vendor says to
be true, or do they need to know what is true. If i bought the unit on the basis of 2 car parks and find later that the body
corporate bylaws prohibit parking in a driveway, who is responsbile for the misleading information? The vendor or the real estate agent?
Thanks
Mark.
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6 Comments

DanAlvarez 2yrs+
The real estate agent is responsible for the advertising and its content. If they are found that they provided misleading information they can be fined, but if you buy the unit you would have to prove that you bought it on that basis and you had no previous knowledge. That would be hard for you to prove.
Get some advice from solicitors, my advice is if you liked the unit and you already knew that it is only 1 car space , what's stopping you from buying it?
cheers
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marko12 2yrs+
Thanks for the reply Dan. Is there some way to have a look at the body corp bylaws before I sign a contract?
I dont want to get caught out buying a place that has one car park when I need a place that has 2.
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DanAlvarez 2yrs+
No worries Marko :), just trying to help. You can request a copy (by law it should be provided to you before you sign a contract) of the Body Corporate Disclosure Statement. The by-laws sometimes are not included in the statement but im sure the agent can get a copy of that for you. Are there any visitors car parking nearby that you might be able to use?
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Ron Marshall 2yrs+
You could also make an offer with a Special Condition attached as follows to protect yourself:

This contract is subject to and conditional on the Buyer being satisfied in their absolute discretion with the results of a body corporate records inspection to be conducted by the Buyer within 21 days from the contract date. In the event that the Buyer is not so satisfied the Buyer may give notice to the Seller terminating this contract and the contract shall be at an end and the Deposit shall be refunded in full to the Buyer. The Seller hereby acknowledges that this special condition is for the benefit of the Buyer only.
(Condition supplied by conveyancing works solicitors on the Gold Coast - www.conveyancingworks.com.au)
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BuyersAgent 2yrs+
Great Clause Ron. Again demonstrates how important it is for the buyer to do their own due dilligence.

Marko, would love to hear how you got on.

Also need to be careful if you're planning on using a designated 'Visitors Carpark' for a permanent residents vehicle as, if you have a body corporate nazi, they can make your life hell, enforcing time restrictions on how long your car can be parked there. Thankfully, it hasn't happened to me, but I know of someone who was fined (to the tune of $1000+) by their own body corporate. Something you need to definately investigate fully.
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PRDCoomera 2yrs+
Hi Marko

If this problem is not already solved or even if you come across this situation again. Have your solicitor order the relevant plan for the complex, this could an SP, BUP or GTP etc.

This is the plan that has been registered, this plan will generally show the subject units area in total square metres/feet. It then should be broken up into living, outdoor and garages/carspaces, if the area that you are being told does not exist on the plan or is shown as a common area, I would be very cafeful.

If the area stated by the agent is shown to belong to the unit, have your solictor check with the strata managers why the sigange has been placed there. If the carspace has been resumed by the Body Corporate for some reason, then compensation would have been paid to the proprietors of the unit at that time. However the registered plan also should be been amended accordingly. If the space has been resumed or is not on the plan, then you are not permitted to use the space regardless of what you have been told.

Agents cannot be misleading and must check all vendor supplied information, especially if that information is being either advertsied or promoted as being part of a sale.

Hope this helps.

Warren Cavanagh AAPI LREA
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