Property problems: Swift action needed on conspiracy to deceive

Sunday 19 September 2004

Q. I immigrated to New Zealand two years ago and invested my savings in a factory. The agent involved referred me to a lawyer who acted for me.

I was happy with the return on my purchase until recently when the tenant vacated and disappeared.

I have now discovered that my lawyer was the brother-in-law of the agent and the vendor was a family trust associated with b

By The Landlord

oth of them. It also seems that the vendor (unknown to me, but known to both the lawyer and the agent) was subsidising the rent to increase the price I paid for the property. As a consequence I overpaid for the property. I have lost a considerable amount of money on this investment. Can I recover it from the agent or lawyer?

A. It does appear that your solicitor failed to act in your best interests, put his own financial interests ahead of your own and did not give you information relevant to your decision to purchase the factory.

Both your solicitor and the agent (not to mention the family trust) have also seemingly misled you as to the market value of the factory.

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