Lemon Laws Needed for Houses! No consumer protection exists for our biggest asset!!
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On A Current Affair 30th September It is absurd that you can return a pair of faulty jeans bought for less than $100 to the seller under State consumer protection laws but you have ZERO consumer protection rights if you buy a defective house that cost a fortune under the current "buyer beware" doctrine. This old fashioned legal application has caused serious financial stress to innocent property buyers especially first home buyers and those that buy under "duress" conditions at auctions without first getting a pre-purchase building report done. Astoundingly 61% of home buyers are NOT getting professional reports done before they buy! (according to a Westpac survey in 2016). There are many hundreds of cases where the buyer has suffered major financial loss as a result of Caveat Emptor. An example would be a consumer buying an older property with water leaks, subsidence and termite issues. As the seller does not need to disclose anything relating to the condition of the property under current Sale of Land contracts in Australia (except in the ACT), the unsuspecting buyer must pay $100,000+ for underpinning, $15,000+ for a new roof and $20,000+ to rectify the termite damage and prevent future damage without any right to claim compensation from the seller because legally the fault lies with the buyer for not having done their due diligence. This is unjust! The winners of this legal loop-hole are the sellers who do not have to disclose defects and the real estate agents who act on behalf of the seller to gain their commissions based on a percentage of the sale price. We urgently need to update our laws to protect home buyers from being ripped off by unscrupulous practices. By supporting this petition you can help bring about fairer laws so that your children and future generations will be protected against buying dodgy homes. We need to follow the lead of the ACT and the UK where the seller must disclose structural defects to the buyer.Just like a road worthy certificate must be provided when selling a used car, the same logic should apply to houses.
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