Author Archives for Peter Mericka

About Peter Mericka

Peter Mericka B.A., LL.B is a Melbourne based property lawyer and real estate consumer advocate, whose law firm Lawyers Conveyancing has been leading the real estate and conveyancing industry in online conveyancing services for the past two decades.

Property porkies: Record number of home loan applicants fudging the numbers

October 1, 2019 6:34 am Published by Leave your thoughts The number of home loan applicants obtaining a mortgage after inflating their income and downplaying their living costs has jumped to record levels, according to research by global investment bank UBS. Thirty seven per cent of borrowers were not entirely honest in their mortgage applications, the bank’s anonymous survey of 903 Australians revealed – despite tougher lending standards imposed since the banking royal commission. The surge in so-called “liar loans” comes amid a rise in...


Young UK Homeowners Specifically Targeted By Fraudsters – Lesson for Aussies?

September 30, 2019 3:37 pm Published by Leave your thoughts First-time buyers and younger homeowners are at increasingly high risk of cyber crime. According to Experian, the number of financial applications made by third party fraudsters between January and June was 14% higher when compared with the same time in 2018. Third party fraud occurs when sensitive information is stolen from a person and used without their knowledge and against their wishes. This type of fraud is prominent online with cyber criminals using social engineering...


Referral Fees – Transparency Could Result In The Demise Of Both Agents And Conveyancers

September 30, 2019 3:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts Over six months ago the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team revealed new industry guidance to make referral fees more transparent to consumers.[ Failure to disclose referral arrangements may render an estate agent liable for criminal prosecution under the CPRs and/or action by NTSEAT for warning or prohibition under the Estate Agents Act 1979. The government wants referral fees to be transparent and would consider banning the fees if this could not be achieved by...


How an 80-year-old vendor sold his home online

September 25, 2019 8:48 am Published by Leave your thoughts It’s an unlikely pairing — an 80-year-old vendor and an online bidding platform that’s at the forefront of property sales. But that’s exactly what happened when Mint Real Estate, and founder of Openn Negotiation, Peter Clements met Cyril who was looking to sell the Claremont home his mother had lived in for over 70 years. Selling your home online at the age of 80… what could go wrong? Read the amazing story of Cyril, the...


Little hope governments will foot cladding bill

March 6, 2019 11:34 am Published by Leave your thoughts The failure by governments to warn industry about the risks of combustible cladding, even though they knew the widely-used material was combustible would do little to make them pay for cladding rectification, the country’s peak industry body for strata managers said on Tuesday. Revelations this week that state and territory building regulators discussed concerns about aluminium composite panels raised by fire authorities and did not pass on any indication to their industries that the materials...


Apartment tower residents awarded millions in damages after cladding fire

March 5, 2019 8:18 am Published by Leave your thoughts Apartment owners at the Lacrosse building in Melbourne’s Docklands have been awarded millions of dollars in damages following a fire in 2014 that was fuelled by combustible cladding. The fire, ignited by a cigarette left on a balcony, led to Lacrosse’s owners seeking millions in damages during a month-long Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal case against the tower’s builder, LU Simon, which ended in October. While nobody died in the blaze, the tower fire sent...


When Can Lawyers Or Conveyancers Act For Both Parties?

October 24, 2018 6:31 am Published by 1 Comment OPINION by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Solicitor Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au   A junior journalist had a couple of questions about my paper “Should you act for both parties?” delivered at the Australian Institute of Conveyancers National Conference. “What’s conveyancing?” he asked. “And what’s the difference between conveyancers and solicitors?” A pre-conference media release had assumed – mistakenly – that everyone knew conveyancing was the contract preparation, professional advice, negotiation, documentation and searches involved when you...


Should conveyancing solicitors act for both parties?

October 24, 2018 6:28 am Published by Leave your thoughts OPINION by Tim O’Dwyer M.A., LL.B Solicitor Consumer Advocate watchdog@argonautlegal.com.au   The simple answer to the above question is no. But I guess many of us will, from time to time, act for both parties in conveyancing transactions. And, frankly, many of us will continue to do so until the governments in our various states and territories legislate against this practice to properly protect conveyancing consumers. Our professional and industry bodies may skirt around the...


Reverse mortgage warning | Shed Connect

September 4, 2018 10:54 am Published by 1 Comment ASIC deputy chair Peter Kell says: “Reverse mortgage products can help many Australians achieve a better quality of life in retirement. But our review shows that lenders and brokers need to make inquiries that would lead to a genuine conversation with customers about their possible future needs, not just a set of tick boxes on a form.” Borrowers have been cautioned that are not getting enough help from lenders or advisers in working out the...


Melbourne man facing expensive dilemma after buying home with illegal structures – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

September 4, 2018 10:23 am Published by 1 Comment Hao Dong was dazzled, and when the time came for the house to be auctioned in March 2016, he placed the winning bid. He purchased the property in the hope that it could one day house his parents. But a few weeks ago the illusion of a good investment was shattered when the council, having received a complaint the property was being used as an unregistered rooming house, revealed most of the structures on the...