You can always rely on property to throw up something from left field. Sometimes the real estate journey leaves us without an answer.

Section 64 of the Property and Stock Agents Act, 2002 (“the Act”) permits an agent to participate in the exchange of residential property. The Conveyancing Act 1919 defines residential property as a dwelling or something attached to a dwelling that is situated on less than 2.5 hectares. For us old farts, 6.175 acres.

This week we found that an agent had exchanged a rural property, that being, over 2.5 hectares. This essentially voids the exchange of the contract.

A solicitor or licensed conveyancer is the only person vested with the legal authority to exchange rural, industrial, or commercial property. Seems obvious, well what happens at an auction.

Rarely, a solicitor would ever be at an auction. On daily basis auctioneers and agents are faced with the problem of exchanging contracts without legal authority. If you look at Section 64 of the Act, an agent or auctioneer is not even permitted to fill in the contract.

The Act has left us void of answers. To facilitate the auction conditions, we need to exchange on the day. To do this, agents must exchange unlawfully. If something goes wrong, the agent is professionally negligent as they have performed a task that they have no authority.

Fair Trading need to amend the legislation. It is unfair trading that the trader is forced to conduct their business unlawfully because the regulator is ignorant of the industry.