The Guardian/AAP title House agents show the world they can’t be trusted article The house agents at spaldings, a leading property and property-development company in Melbourne, Australia, show up in the front pages of newspapers across the country, often as a matter of course, because they can.
The spalders are agents for the Victorian Government’s department of housing, which is charged with the oversight of residential real estate in Victoria.
The agents can also represent developers and other real estate developers who have problems paying off debt, the agency says.
“The house agents are not employed by the government, but instead are contracted by spaldies and are contracted to house the residents of the community,” Spaldings’ website says.
A spaldingly good way to manage your moneyHouse agents can help to manage money better.
The agency, which advertises itself as the best agent to sell your house, shows up in every paper in Victoria and NSW, according to data provided by the ABC.
But what about the real estate agents?
The company’s website says that “the house agents work alongside real estate managers and developers to ensure the integrity of residential and commercial property transactions in the state of Victoria and across Australia”.
“The agents are the key agents who represent owners of residential properties, property developers, and other property owners,” the website says, and their “unlimited access to real estate information is one of the biggest assets a home owner has in the real-estate market.”
The company also advertises its ability to find a mortgage, which means a house agent can be relied on to find and sign a mortgage for you.
But it doesn’t mean they can help you find a home.
According to a spokesman for the Federal Government, “the agents are contracted for a set term of six months, and have no contractual right to be paid more than what they are contracted at” (AFP, 12 June, 2017).
This means that the house agents aren’t necessarily “paid” for their work, he said.
“As the property and land agent is paid for their time and services, it is the agent who has a contractual obligation to provide a mortgage on the property or the land,” the spokesman said.
The Federal Government said the agents’ contracts were not the same as the mortgages that they sign, and that it was in the agent’s “ownership” to check whether the mortgage they are signing is valid or not (AFP)In fact, the Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has said that the “guarantee of the mortgage that a house agents has to sign is not a guarantee of any future mortgage”, and that the Federal government has not issued “guidance” to help property owners secure a mortgage.
So, what does this have to do with spaldING?
In addition to its own agents, spaldINGS offers advice on how to manage mortgage payments and other financial matters, and it also provides information on its website.
According the agency’s website, it can help people avoid or reduce mortgage debt and “protect their family and savings”.
It is not the first time spaldINGTON has been at the centre of a national story.
In December 2015, spauldings was fined $2.7 million for “failing to protect and manage a client’s property”.
The company said at the time that it had “worked diligently with the Department of Housing to resolve the matter”, and was “looking forward to the outcome of the matter”.
Spaldings said the fine was “for failing to provide reasonable advice to the owner of the property” (ABC News, 23 December, 2015).
But the agency, and others in the Australian property industry, have argued that spaldnings was responsible for the “serious breaches” of the Fair Trading Act and other laws in Victoria, where the fine had been imposed, and in NSW, where spaldlings is based.
The Victorian Attorney-General, John Reid, said that spaulding “has a long history of breaching the Fair Trade Act and of failing to act in good faith and in compliance with the Fair Housing Act and the Housing Act, which both require a houseagent to act impartially and in good conscience”.
In February this year, the NSW Fair Trading Commission fined Spalding $1.7m for failing to “act impartially” in the way it handled complaints against it.
“These breaches of the Australian Consumer Law are unacceptable and are indicative of a systemic failure to act within the Australian residential real- estate market,” it said in a statement.
“Spalding has consistently failed to comply with the obligations of its clients in NSW and Victoria to provide good and appropriate advice and services to the consumer and to be fair and honest to them.”
The ABC contacted spaldinger, spALDING and Spaldinging’s office for comment.
SpaldING said in an email that “spald