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.

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 Leave your thoughts 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 Leave your thoughts 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...


Alpha-male Estate Agents in Altercation – What Chance Does the Client Have?

July 12, 2018 9:42 am Published by Leave your thoughts The two estate agents in this story know their industry, know how things done, and apparently don’t like it when someone steps out of line. I regularly receive complaints from clients who tell me that they have been bullied or otherwise harassed by estate agents for asking too many questions, wanting to remove onerous special conditions from a contract or even adding a “subject to finance” clause to a contract. But if you really want...


Should house hunters be told someone was murdered in the home they’re about to buy?

July 11, 2018 1:26 am Published by Leave your thoughts Haunted house? Seven years’ bad luck? Poor feng shi? What matters to home buyers can vary, but does it get to a point where vendors have an obligation to disclose such issues as though they are defects?   Within the industry, such dwellings are known as ‘stigmatised properties’ because they are judged to carry baggage that makes them less desirable. Stigmatised properties include homes where murders and deaths — or other crimes or misfortunes —...


Property Nerd | News | 2018-07-09

July 10, 2018 8:40 am Published by Leave your thoughts The Victorian State Government has bent over backwards to assist real estate agents whose own professional body has contributed to this debacle. But it appears that there is a long way to go before the matter is resolved.   “To put the allegation at its simplest, whomever approved the form on behalf of the director (CAV) did not properly read the Estate Agent Act. Further, whomever at the REIV had responsibility for preparing the pro...


Over a Third of ‘Millennials’ Reliant on Inheritance to Purchase Property

July 9, 2018 4:10 pm Published by Leave your thoughts It’s not just in Australia that young people are relying on the “Bank of Mum & Dad” or and inheritance. A new report from Sanlam UK has revealed 34% of 25-45-year-olds would use inheritance to purchase property – the second most commonly cited use. Whilst saving or investing came top at 38%, alarmingly, almost a quarter (24%) will be relying on inheritance to pay off debt. Today, parents are handing out an average of £18,000...