When to apply

The claim fund was set up to assist anyone who has suffered a financial loss because of:

  • a real estate agent
  • a resident letting agent
  • a motor dealer
  • an auctioneer
  • a chattel auctioneer
  • a debt collector or process server
  • an employee of any of the above.

The loss might have been caused by:

  • their actions
  • actions they should have done but didn’t.

Always try to settle the claim with the agent or dealer first. Go through their complaint process. If this doesn’t resolve the dispute, then you can lodge a written claim with us. Don’t leave it too long to make your claim with us, as time limits do apply.

What you can claim for

Regular claims

You can make a claim if the agent or dealer:

  • does not deal with trust account money properly (for example, does not put your rental money in their trust account or steals it)
  • makes false or misleading claims (for example, lies about a vehicle’s year of manufacture or distance travelled)
  • does not disclose a beneficial interest
  • does not return your money, deposit or trade-in vehicle to you if you cancel during your cooling-off period or because they didn’t fulfil their legal obligations
  • steals or misapplies money or property you give them to pass on to someone else (such as transfer duty).

You can also make a claim on property if the agent:

  • does not forward bond money to the Residential Tenancies Authority
  • does not clearly identify the lot you are buying
  • does not give notice if you can’t use vacant land for residential purposes.

You can also make a claim on a second-hand vehicle if you do not obtain clear title on the vehicle you buy.

Marketeering claims

A claim against a property agent may relate to certain types of conduct that we class as marketeering. This does not apply to motor dealers or auctioneers.

Marketeering could be:

  • misleading conduct
  • unconscionable conduct
  • false representations.

Misleading conduct could be:

  • lying to you
  • leaving out important details
  • deliberately giving you a false idea
  • making false claims about the property.

Unconscionable conduct could be:

  • using high-pressure tactics
  • taking unfair advantage of your personal circumstances
  • not giving you time to read an agreement, ask questions or get advice
  • using a friend or relative to influence your decision
  • not explaining the key terms of a contract.

False representations could be about:

  • the property’s details
  • the property’s value
  • any facilities they said were available.

You can make a claim only if:

  • you have on-sold the property within 6 years of the purchase contract date
  • you suffer a capital loss, that is, if you sell it for less money than you paid for it (this is why you must have already sold the property)
  • the property is not an investment property
  • the property is located in Queensland.

Not claimable

You can’t make a claim if:

  • the agent or dealer doesn’t honour your statutory warranty on a used vehicle (you will need to apply to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal)
  • the agent or dealer steals or misuses trust account money after you have agreed that they could invest it
  • you didn’t get all the information you needed from the agent or dealer
  • you’re dealing with a property developer (or their employees)
  • the agent or dealer didn’t tell you if their relationship with a service provider they recommended you use (for example, a solicitor)
  • you are also a licensee, and were dealing with another agent as part of your job
  • you made a financial investment in the agent or dealer’s business.