The Business Licensing Authority (BLA) deals with disputes between agents and their clients or purchasers. The BLA provides advice and handles consumer complaints. The service is free. If the BLA believes that the agent has breached the Estate Agents Act 1980 (Vic) or its regulations, including the professional rules, it can refer the matter to the Disciplinary Tribunal, which will consider whether the agent’s licence should be suspended or cancelled. It can also require undertakings from an agent or impose a fine. You can appear without a lawyer, although most people are represented. The tribunal cannot order that you be reimbursed for a loss caused by unprofessional behaviour of an agent, but can order compensation if the complaint concerned taking of excessive commission. For BLA’s contact details, see “Contacts”.
Complaints against lawyers are handled under the Legal Profession Act 2004 (Vic), which commenced in 2005. The legal profession is regulated by a Legal Commissioner. (For more information and contact details, see Legal representation.) Complaints against licensed conveyancers are handled by the Business Licensing Authority and can end up in VCAT.