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Was I tricked? RE off the plan purchase

Discussion in 'The Buying & Selling Process' started by VinMariani, 29th Mar, 2016.

  1. VinMariani

    VinMariani Active Member

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    Hi guys,

    Need some advice on my current situation.
    I have recently bought two apartments off the plan which are being built and will be complete in November.

    The requirement to buy any of the apartments is a $25,000 deposit and the balance paid upon settlement in November 2016. It says so on the construction site and many advertising banners all over the RE websites.

    I have had a friend recommend me this property manager who sold me the first apartment and I paid $25,000 deposit. I was going to buy a second apartment for the same price ($25,000 deposit) but was told my my broker that I may not be able to afford it right now.

    A week later my broker said I can afford a second apartment, and she asked me to call the property manager and talk to her.

    When I rang the property manager about buying the second apartment, she said that she has one of her own apartments for sale in that building and she wants to get rid of one apartment because she "took on too much". She then went and told me that to buy into it I would pay the regular $25,000 buy in deposit as I did with the first one and then also pay her another $25,000 under the table because apparently the market price has gone up on that apartment (she never said that the price went up on the first apartment).

    Because I am still completely new to this and I trusted this property manager as she works with my friend I agreed to go ahead and transfer her the first deposit $25,000 and two days later another $25,000.

    The contract I signed for the two apartments said nothing about paying additional $25,000 to her.

    After having given this a lot of thoughts, I think I have been tricked into paying her an extra $25,000 because the law states that "it doesn’t matter if the market value has jumped by settlement time, you don’t have to pay more".

    I have expressed my concern to her about this and she wants to meet and talk about it.

    I feel hard done by and stupid now.

    The settlement is in November. Do I have a right to ask for my $25,000 payment back? What can I do to fix this?

    I realise it may cost me the second apartment, but from what I understand is that my first $25,000 went towards securing the property and the second $25,000 went into her pocket for simply holding that apartment.

    Please advise me.
     
  2. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Have you spoken to a lawyer. You have possibly committed some criminal offences as well and so may have she.
     
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  3. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Take @Terry_w advise and speak to a solicitor before proceeding any further.
     
  4. VinMariani

    VinMariani Active Member

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    Hi Terry,

    Thanks for your reply.

    Can you please clarify what criminal offence it may be?

    Would legal aid be sufficient here or do I need to contact a proper real estate solicitor?

    Thank you
     
  5. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    money laundering and tax evasion are 2 that spring to mind, but there would be other offences against reporting legislation

    No legal aid would not be sufficient.
     
  6. VinMariani

    VinMariani Active Member

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    Off course. Though it was not I who was money laundering and evading tax.
    As I mentioned this is very new to me.
    I have used my savings account and did a direct transfer of the funds.

    I will find a suitable solicitor and explain the situation.

    Any other advice on what can happen from here? What can the lawyer do for me?

    Obviously I don't want to cause any problems to the property manager but I also either want my full $50,000 back (cancelling contract) or at least the $25,000 and keeping the second apartment.

    Thank you
     
  7. Paul@PFI

    Paul@PFI Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Member

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    A lawyer will act for YOU and tell you what to do. They will protect your interest and not admit to things you might say which you should not say. You can freely tell them all the story as they cannot repeat it and will seek to protect you if you do need to disclose. They will use coercion and negotiation to achieve a solution.

    On the positive side I also see a number of serious Consumer Law offences by the agent let alone a licensing concern.
     
  8. MarkB

    MarkB Some guy on the internet Premium Member

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    The screen you are reading.
    Were you planning on paying stamp duty on that last 25k?
     
  9. Joshwaaaa

    Joshwaaaa Well-Known Member

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    Definitely talk to a lawyer. Was this all over the phone? or was any of it in writing via e-mail etc?
     
  10. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    A joint criminal enterprise perhaps.
     
  11. VinMariani

    VinMariani Active Member

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    Some are in the email but not to the point.

    I have bank statements to show I paid 3 deposits, with one extra for no apparent reason.

    I think this property manager may be making money from "buying" and holding IPs and then selling them on to friends and others and pocketing the "market equity prior settlement.
     
  12. Bran

    Bran Well-Known Member

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    WHOA! For real?

    Do what these guys have said, or maybe I'd tell the bank I made the extra erroneously and have it reversed.
     
    Last edited: 29th Mar, 2016
  13. VinMariani

    VinMariani Active Member

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    That could be interesting...I guess I could ask my bank to reverse it and see what they say.

    An idiot learns the hard way it seems :(
     
  14. Joshwaaaa

    Joshwaaaa Well-Known Member

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    this would be good then she can't come after you as what she was doing is off the books and not mentioned any contract.
     
  15. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Without documentation that $25k could have been anything - was it a short term loan?
     
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  16. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    Or a erroneous transfer since you forgot that you had already paid 25,000
     
  17. VinMariani

    VinMariani Active Member

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    I think I will play it that way. There are two identical transfers.

    Hopefully the bank will reverse.
     
  18. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Secret commissions rings a bell too.

    Did you pay two deposits and two separate commissions directly to the agent's personal account?
     
  19. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    Speak to a lawyer first.
     
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  20. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    An illegal contract is unenforceable.