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How did the QOFT handle the same property as the ACCC?

You would think that the Queensland Government could not have been as bad as the ACCC, but let's see what they did?

After all it was the Exact same property with the same purchaser and the same circumstances that both the ACCC and the QLD OFT looked at. 

Now you would think that the State and Federal Governments of Australia would operate in a similar manner or at least co-operate. We heard how the Federal Government, through the ACCC asked their expert witness to change his Valuation so that they could run a test case, which cost the Australian Tax Payer just under $30 Million.

The QLD OFT decided to form a Tribunal, this was made up of Real Estate Agents that were not exactly happy that Chris was taking thousands of sales from them and Millions of dollars in revenue, so not a big stretch to suggest they were slightly biased and this was a witch hunt.

The Tribunal heard the exact same case as the ACCC Federal Court case heard and instead of an Expert Valuer from Sydney, they accepted a Valuation from Iain Herriot, which was for $90,000 and the total investigation of the Accuracy and Validity of this Valuation lasted all of one minute as they asked Mr Herriot was he an experienced Valuer, and that was it.

Now that might seem OK on the face of it, but the Tribunal then awarded to the purchaser the sum of $125,000 and gave them a Cheque immediately. So how did they come to this decision, when the ACCC found the property to be worth $165,000 and the property was bought at Fair Market Value?

The Tribunal and the Agents relied on Mr Herriot’s credibility and accuracy and calculated the compensation to the Buyers based on the Difference between the Valuation and the Purchase price, being $75,000. Then being the geniuses that they were they also gave the Purchasers back all of their out of pocket expenses including Rates, Insurance, Stamp Duty and all Mortgage costs and that came to $50,000. They also chose to disregard all the tax rebates and they also disregarded all of the rent collected. So not only did the Purchasers get the $125,000 as a gift they also got to keep the Investment property and all of the rent and all of the tax refunds that they got since they bought the properties a few years earlier. They even got free Stamp Duty as the Tribunal gave that back to them as well.

So in Summary these 8 lucky purchasers got the Cheque from the QOFT for $125,000 and kept the investment property, not a bad return considering they had not actually lost a cent and had not sold the property and were still collecting rent.

The Purchasers then sold the property, keep in mind this was within 6 months of them receiving $125,000 from the QOFT and Mr Herriot doing his Valuation for $90,000. They sold the property on the local market for $175,000 using the local agents and the Local Newspapers.

Now the Question we should all be asking Mr Herriot and the QOFT was how did a property increase in Value from $90,000 to $175,000 in less than a year? Was the Valuation just inaccurate, incompetent or was it fraudulent? How was this allowed to happen, and if you want to read more you can read Chris' book which can be ordered from his website.

Now the interesting thing was that Chris called the Premier at the time, Peter Beattie and he could not believe that this was happening and quickly changed the law so that this could not continue to happen. Sadly at the same time he made Chris personally responsible to repay the QOFT and now that law only applies to him, how can they be called the Office of FAIR Trading?