Neighbours "Impaled" By Home Ownership Crisis

Posted on May 3, 2007 by | 0 Comments

Tim O'Dwyer M.B., LL.Bby Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Queensland Solicitor & Consumer Advocate

“We need help, David, well and truly we really do.” This plea was made by distraught homeowners Dave and Karen Huxley to reporter David Margan of Channel 9’s A Current Affair. The Huxleys had been horrified to discover not only that their home of seven years was not really theirs, but also that no one wanted to help them sort out the problem.“This is our house, but it’s not our house. Next door is our house, but it’s not our house,” they told David Margan who then tried to explain to a prime-time television audience this month the seemingly inexplicable: that this couple have been living in a house legally owned by their next-door neighbour, Sarah La, whose house was legally owned by them.

This “crisis of home ownership” had, as David Margan put it, “impaled” Dave, Karen and Sarah.

When A Current Affair came to me for my comments, my immediate response – included in the television story – was that this was “a property lawyer’s delight, a litigation lawyer’s best dream” and, for everyone else involved, “their worst nightmare”.

For Huxleys it remains a living nightmare: “Nobody is in a position to help us. They just wipe it. They don’t want to know about it. They just want it to go away.”

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