The recent high-profile case involving underpayment of award entitlements by the Macquarie Bank gives a timely reminder of the importance (and legality) of written set-off clauses in common law contracts and other legitimate set-off options.
The recent Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) decision in Owners Corporation No. 1 PS511700W v St Marys Investments Pty Ltd dealt with a dispute over fees charged to a lot owner for services that were provided to a larger development within which the Owners Corporation land was a subdivision. The reasoning of the Tribunal provides insight into which fees charged by an Owners Corporation will be enforceable against Lot Owners. It serves as a reminder that fees are not limited to services relating solely to the land of the Owners Corporation,
In the recent case of Roude v Helwani  NSWCA 310, the Court of Appeal of New South Wales considered an appeal from a judgment of a Local Court of New South Wales Magistrate regarding a claim for reasonable remuneration for electrical and plumbing work performed (quantum meruit). This case illustrates the complexities that can arise regarding claims for payment, the importance of expert evidence in showing what is fair and reasonable remuneration, and the need for a correct strategy in making a claim.
The unfair contract terms (UCT) regime can be found in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) and was originally brought in to protect consumers in circumstances where there is a large imbalance of power regarding the formulation of contracts. Since 2016 this protection has been extended to small businesses. The regime was slated for further expansion by the Federal Government’s Decision Regulation Impact Statement published on 9 November 2020 following substantial advocacy from the ACCC. It is not yet clear when these changes will be formalised, however the changes and potential impacts will be discussed in this article.