When determining whether a person is in contravention of s 21, s 22(1) of the ACL outlines the types of conduct that may be considered unconscionable by the courts which includes the following:

“(1) Without limiting the matters to which the court may have regard for the purpose of determining whether a person (the supplier ) has contravened section 21 in connection with the supply or possible supply of goods or services to a person (the customer ), the court may have regard to:

(a) the relative strengths of the bargaining positions of the supplier and the customer; and

(b) whether, as a result of conduct engaged in by the supplier, the customer was required to comply with conditions that were not reasonably necessary for the protection of the legitimate interests of the supplier; and

(c) whether the customer was able to understand any documents relating to the supply or possible supply of the goods or services; and

(d) whether any undue influence or pressure was exerted on, or any unfair tactics were used against, the customer or a person acting on behalf of the customer by the supplier or a person acting on behalf of the supplier in relation to the supply or possible supply of the goods or services; and

(e) the amount for which, and the circumstances under which, the customer could have acquired identical or equivalent goods or services from a person other than the supplier; and

(f) the extent to which the supplier’s conduct towards the customer was consistent with the supplier’s conduct in similar transactions between the supplier and other like customers; and

(g) the requirements of any applicable industry code; and

(h) the requirements of any other industry code, if the customer acted on the reasonable belief that the supplier would comply with that code; and

(i) the extent to which the supplier unreasonably failed to disclose to the customer:

(i) any intended conduct of the supplier that might affect the interests of the customer; and

(ii) any risks to the customer arising from the supplier’s intended conduct (being risks that the supplier should have foreseen would not be apparent to the customer); and

(j) if there is a contract between the supplier and the customer for the supply of the goods or services:

(i) the extent to which the supplier was willing to negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract with the customer; and

(ii) the terms and conditions of the contract; and

(iii) the conduct of the supplier and the customer in complying with the terms and conditions of the contract; and

(iv) any conduct that the supplier or the customer engaged in, in connection with their commercial relationship, after they entered into the contract; and

(k) without limiting paragraph (j), whether the supplier has a contractual right to vary unilaterally a term or condition of a contract between the supplier and the customer for the supply of the goods or services; and

(l) the extent to which the supplier and the customer acted in good faith.”

Either prior to or at the auction, a reserve price will be set by the seller which is the minimum amount that would be accepted for the property. Upon reaching the reserve price, the auctioneer will inform those in attendance that the property will be on the market and that it will be sold under the hammer to the highest bidder. The successful purchaser will be required to sign the contract immediately and pay a deposit.

In the event that the reserve price is not met, the property will be deemed to have passed in and the seller may reduce the price to the highest bid, which would then signify that the property is sold under the hammer, and the exchange of contracts may take place. Alternatively, negotiations may be undertaken privately with the highest bidder.

For purchasers, it’s important to be aware that if contracts are exchanged on the day of the auction, the usual five day cooling-off period may not be applicable.

The landlord or any authorised person such as an agent, may enter the rental property with the consent of the tenant or with an order from the relevant state or territory body.

There are certain situations where the landlord or any other authorised person may enter the rental property without the tenant’s permission and without providing notice, such as:

>> during emergencies, including circumstances where there is reasonable cause for serious concern about the tenant’s health and safety or any other person on the property;

>> urgent repairs need to be carried out on the property;

>> if the landlord holds the reasonable belief that the premises has been abandoned.

If a relevant Act allows a tenant to install, alter, or renovate a fixture, and the landlord does not allow the action, then the tenant may apply to the relevant administrative tribunal body for an order. However, the landlord may also make an application to the relevant body as well, prohibiting a tenant from removing a fixture, or to seek compensation for the cost of fixing the work, irrespective if the work was done with or without the consent of the landlord.

At the conclusion of the tenancy, the tenant will be able to claim back their bond money and any interest that the bond money has attracted. However, tenants will only receive their bond back if:

>> there is no rent in arrears;
>> they have provided proper notice that they intend on vacating the property;
>> they have vac