Property buyers in New South Wales have been cautioned about the risks of attending free property seminars hosted by property promoters.
Minister Matthew Mason-Cox said when investors sign up for free seminars promoted as educational, any contracts they sign for further training or products will attract a cancellation period.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, consumers are legally allowed a cooling off period that gives them the right to cancel the contract they signed at the seminar within 10 business days,” he said.
In addition, promoters are obliged to provide investors with a warning statement setting out these rights.
“Consumers who have not been afforded this protection are entitled to a longer cooling off period if the mandatory statement is not included,” Mr Mason-Cox said.
He warned it was common for free educational nights to include a sales pitch.
“Consumers do not expect to be placed in a high pressure sales environment where they will be expected to buy a training package or other sales materials,” he said.
In these situations, any sales will be considered “unsolicited” and will attract protections under the Australian Consumer Law.
“Even though a consumer may voluntarily attend these seminars to obtain free information, they may not have anticipated entering into a sales contract,” Mr Mason-Cox said.
“The cooling off period will therefore apply, unless the promotional material clearly states that education or other services will be sold at the seminars.”
He also reminded property promoters that they were obliged to provide true and accurate information during their presentations.