Order to pay $7,500 after false aircon claims about home for sale (Lomax Coastal Realty Pty Ltd / Loma Eldridge)

This announcement is for: 
ConsumerProperty industry
  • Website listing and signboard claimed the home had reverse cycle air conditioning
  • Home in fact had ducted evaporative air conditioning with only cooling function
  • Fines under Australian Consumer Law for making false or misleading statements

False claims about the air conditioning system of a Jindalee home for sale has resulted in an Alkimos real estate agency and its Director being ordered to pay a total of $7,500.

The agency Lomax Coastal Realty Pty Ltd was fined $2,000 and sole Director Loma Christella Eldridge was fined $500 by the Joondalup Magistrates Court on 16 August 2021, with both ordered to also pay total costs of $5,000.

In February 2016, the agency had advertised the home on the realestate.com.au website with the statement: “Ducted air conditioning allows for year round temperature control with refrigerated air conditioning in summer and central heating in winter”. The signboard outside the home included the statement: “Ducted reverse cycle air conditioning”.

However, these statements were false as the home actually had ducted evaporative air conditioning with only a cooling function. Making false or misleading statements is in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said the buyer of the property was misled by the signboard and had every right to expect accurate information.

“Based on the advertising, the buyer had the reasonable expectation that the air conditioning system would both heat and cool but this was not the case,” Mr Newcombe said.

“It’s extremely important that statements made about a home for sale are accurate and not just designed to make the property more attractive to potential buyers.

“In property transactions, there is an essential element of trust between an agent and potential buyers, but on this occasion that trust was betrayed by these false statements.

“Real estate agents are reminded that statements made about a property for sale must be true and accurate and there must be full disclosure of facts that may impact on the decisions to be made by potential buyers.”

More information on the obligations of real estate agents, sales representatives and property managers is available on the Consumer Protection website or enquiries can be made by email consumer@dmirs.wa.gov.au or by calling 1300 30 40 54.


Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / alan.hynd@dmirs.wa.gov.au  

Consumer Protection
Media release
18 Aug 2021

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