The Agents Indemnity Fund was established under the Land Agents Act 1994 (SA) and the Conveyancers Act 1994 (SA) to provide compensation for people who suffer financial loss because of the wrongful actions of a registered land agent, conveyancer, or property manager (or one of their employees).
The fund is managed by Consumer and Business Services and they decide whether claims are paid out and how much can be paid.
A claim should be made as soon as possible after the wrongful act has been committed. A claim can be made for the full amount of the financial loss suffered but any amount a person manages to recover must be deducted from this total. It is also possible to claim any reasonable legal expenses that have been incurred in taking legal action to recover the loss. If intending to claim legal expenses it is best to seek advice from Consumer and Business Services early on to understand exactly what expenses can be claimed.
Examples of the sorts of matters that can be claimed are:
- where an agent absconds with a deposit
- where an agent fails to pay a landlord the rent money a tenant has paid them
- failure to complete work already paid for
- where a person is left with a GST bill because the land agent has failed to forward the GST to the Australian Tax Office
- where money being held on trust is stolen
Claims must be in writing and and can be commenced by lodging an Agents Indemnity Fund- Claim for Compensation Form with Consumer and Business Services.
A person unhappy with the decision of Consumer and Business Services can seek a review of the decision in the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT). An application for review must be lodged within three months of receiving notice of the decision. See Part 4, Division 3 of the Conveyancers Act 1994 (SA) and Part 3, Division 3 of the Land Agents Act 1994 (SA) in relation to the indemnity fund.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.