The Victorian Property Fund (VPF) provides compensation for individuals and corporations when an estate agent, conveyancer or their respective representative has misused or misappropriated trust money or property in the course of their work.
Such misuse or misappropriation is known as defalcation, and can include:
- failing to account
- fraudulently misappropriating.
For example, a defalcation has occurred if an agent misused trust money (including deposits or rent) when handling a sale or managing a rental property.
Defalcation may include:
- Failure to pay deposit monies to a vendor after settlement
- Failure to pay rental income to a landlord as per the terms of the management authority
- Failure to pay stamp duty, council rates or utility charges after receiving payment for this purpose
Criteria for making a claim
Compensation claims upon the VPF must meet the following criteria:
- Defalcation by a licensed estate agent, conveyancer or their respective representative
- The defalcation occurred during the course of the licensed estate agent’s, conveyancer’s or respective representative’s business, of which they were required to be licensed
- The claimant has suffered monetary loss caused by the defalcation
Note: You cannot make a claim simply because you believe the agent or conveyancer acted unprofessionally, gave bad advice, or misrepresented a property. For general tips, view Resolve your problem or complaint.
You can claim the full amount of your monetary loss and costs associated with making a claim for compensation.
The monetary loss suffered may be reduced by any fees or charges owed to the estate agent or conveyancer, such as commission or management fees.
How to make a claim
Step 1: If you are unsure whether you meet the relevant criteria to make a claim upon the VPF, contact us on 1300 55 81 81, 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (except public holidays). Calling us costs the same as a local call. Additional charges may apply if you are calling from overseas, on a mobile or payphone. We provide advice on real estate matters, dispute resolution services, and complaints. We also advise estate agents and agents’ representatives on their obligations to buyers, sellers or landlords.
Step 2: Complete the relevant form:
- Claim for compensation against real estate agent - vendors
- Claim for compensation against real estate agent - purchasers
- Claim for compensation against real estate agent - rental properties (landlords and tenants)
- Claim for compensation against conveyancers
Step 3: Check that you have attached all the required supporting documents, then lodge the form as per instructions on the form.
After you make a claim
After lodgment, we will provide confirmation in writing that we have received your claim.
We will then review your claim and either approve or reject it.
In assessing your claim, we may request further information. Failure to respond to these requests may result in the claim being delayed or refused.
Appealing a decision
If we reject your claim, you can appeal the decision by applying to VCAT within three months of receiving the decision.
For information on how to appeal a decision, visit VCAT.
About the Victorian Property Fund
The VPF is a trust fund established under the Estate Agents Act 1980 and administered by Consumer Affairs Victoria. Its income comes from:
- licence fees paid by estate agents and conveyancers
- any fines and penalties payable under the Estate Agents Act 1980 and Conveyancers Act 2006
- interest on licensed estate agents and conveyancers’ trust accounts
- investment income.
We administer claims and grants from the VPF. For information on grants, view Victorian Property Fund grants.