19 October 2011

Media Release: Call for lawyers to disclose property searches to clients

A call has been made for all Queensland lawyers to be forced by law to hand over council rates and property searches to clients who are purchasing homes or investment properties.

The call follows evidence to the Floods Inquiry that a Goodna woman was not provided with an Ipswich City Council flood search by her solicitor.

Mrs Natalia Ang purchased a property at Mill St Goodna but was never provided a copy of the flood search by her solicitor showing the property was 8 metres under water in 1974.

Ipswich Councillor Paul Tully said most solicitors in Queensland routinely failed to hand over copies of rates and flood searches to their clients.

Cr Tully said clients were paying hundreds of dollars for flood and property searches which are mostly not forwarded on to purchasers.

"The law should be changed to require solicitors to fully disclose all searches to their clients, not just some glib statement that they were satisfactory.

"Any lawyer who doesn't pass on the searches to their client is letting their client down."

Cr Tully said solicitors were "playing god" with their clients by not giving the information about property flood levels.

"This is disgraceful conduct by solicitors who are more interested in pocketing their clients' money than disclosing the results of all searches relating to the property.

"Failing to pass on key searches to clients is professionally negligent and a disgraceful way of treating clients who are paying good money for poor service," Cr Tully said.

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