INFORMATION CONCERNING THE CONDUCT OF PUBLIC AUCTIONS OF LAND
Meaning of Vendor
The vendor is the person who is selling the property that is being auctioned. There may be more than one vendor. Where there are two or more vendors, they are selling the property as co-owners .
Bidding by Co-owners
Where there are two or more vendors of the property, one or some or all of them may bid to purchase the property from their co-owners. The vendor or vendors intending to bid to purchase the property can make these bids themselves, or through a representative, but not through the auctioneer.
The law of Victoria allows vendors to choose to have bids made for them by the auctioneer. If this is the case, it will be stated as the first rule applying to the auction. However, these bids cannot be made for a co-owner intending to bid to purchase the property from their co-owner or co-owners.
The auctioneer can only make a vendor bid if—
• the auctioneer declares before bidding starts that he or she can make bids on behalf of a vendor, and states how these bids will be made; and
• the auctioneer states when making the bid that it is a bid for the vendors. The usual way for an auctioneer to indicate that he or she is making a vendor bid is to say "vendor bid" in making the bid.
What rules and conditions apply to the auction?
Different rules apply to an auction depending upon whether there are any co-owners intending to bid to purchase the property from their co-owners, and whether vendor bids can be made. The auctioneer must display the rules that apply at the auction.
It is possible that a vendor may choose to have additional conditions apply at the auction. This is only allowed if those additional conditions do not conflict with the rules that apply to the auction or any other legal requirement. The additional conditions are usually contained in the contract of sale.
Copies of the rules
The law requires that a copy of the rules and conditions that are to apply to a public auction of land be made available for public inspection a reasonable time before the auction starts and in any case not less than 30 minutes before the auction starts.
A person at a public auction of land may ask the auctioneer in good faith a reasonable number of questions about the property being sold, the contract of sale, the rules under which the auction is being conducted and the conduct of the auction.
Forbidden activities at auctions
The law forbids—
• any person bidding for a vendor other than—
• the auctioneer (who can only make bids for a vendor who does not intend to purchase the property from their co-owner or co-owners); or
• a representative of a vendor who is a co-owner of the property wishing to purchase the property from their co-owner or co-owners.
• the auctioneer taking any bid that he or she knows was made on behalf of the vendor, unless it is made by a vendor (or their representative) who is a co-owner wishing to purchase the property.
• the auctioneer acknowledging a bid if no bid was made.
• any person asking another person to bid on behalf of the vendor, other than a vendor who is a co-owner engaging a representative to bid for them.
• any person falsely claiming or falsely acknowledging that he or she made a bid.
• an intending bidder (or a person acting on behalf of an intending bidder) harassing or interfering with other bidders at a public auction of land.
Substantial penalties apply to any person who does any of the things in this list.
Who made the bid?
At any time during a public auction of land, a person at the auction may ask the auctioneer to indicate who made a bid. Once such a request has been made, the auctioneer is obliged by law to comply with such a request before taking another bid.
It is an offence to disrupt an auction
The law forbids an intending bidder or a person acting on behalf of an intending bidder from doing any thing with the intention of preventing or causing a major disruption to, or causing the cancellation of, a public auction of land.
The cooling off period does not apply to public auctions of land
If you purchase a property that has been offered for sale by public auction either at the auction or within 3 clear business days before or after the auction, there is no cooling off period.
What law applies
The information in this document is only intended as a brief summary of the law that applies to public auctions of land in Victoria. Most of the laws referred to in this document can be found in the Sale of Land Act 1962 or the Sale of Land Regulations 2005. Copies of those laws can be found at the following web site: www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au under the title "LawToday".
Í Í Í Í Í Í Í Í Í Í Í Í Í Í Í