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Unconscionable conduct finding overturned

4 May 2021

South Australia's Court of Appeal has overturned a finding of unconscionable conduct against a real estate agent in relation to his dealings with a vulnerable client. 

The Supreme Court previously found Grange-based agent Zane Pitt has engaged in unconscionable conduct through his business "We Buy Houses" when purchasing property from the elderly pensioner for $175,000 before transferring the property to his daughter, who ultimately sold the property for $765,000. 

Mr Pitt challenged the Judge's finding, arguing the Judge erred in finding that the pensioner was under a special disadvantage and that Mr Pitt had engaged in unconscionable conduct. 

Last week, the Court of Appeal set aside the judgement, finding that it was not satisfied that "Mr Pitt acted unconscionably", saying "We do not think that it has been established that his conduct was so far outside societal norms of acceptable commercial behaviour as to warrant condemnation as conduct that was offensive to conscience." 

Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Dini Soulio said he would be closely reviewing the Court's judgement.