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BULAW 1502 Fundamentals Of Law

tag 0 Download 9 Pages / 2,098 Words tag 17-08-2021
  • Course Code: BULAW1502
  • University: Federation University
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  • Country: Australia



Mary recently left her job as building inspector for the local city council. She decides to sell her house in the city. Lee inspects the property and likes what he sees except for the garden shed and garage, both of which seem to be leaning slightly to one side and have a few holes in the walls. Lee says that before he decides to make an offer on the property, he wants a building assessment on all the buildings, but in particular on the shed and garage. Mary says “That isn’t really necessary. I am a certified building inspector and I should know but look, if you are worried at all, I can arrange a builder to look at the buildings and make sure they are ok”. Lee is impressed with this and says “thanks, that would be good – I presume she is  qualified?”. Mary does not respond.

After further inspection of the house, Lee offers to purchase the property subject to a builder’s report. Mary instructs her lawyer to draw up a written contract. Although this contract describes the house, it makes no mention of the existence of the shed or garage. It does refer to a builder’s report but provides no detail of name or qualifications of who will provide it.

Mary downloads a standard form building report from the internet (that has spaces to fill in details on the specific buildings inspected) and fills in those details. She then gets Joanna (a long-term friend who dropped out of her building apprenticeship and now works a labourer on building sites) to write a short statement at the bottom that “the buildings on the lot are safe and solid”. Apart from Joanna’s name, this report contains no details about her. Mary attaches it to the written contract she sends to Lee. Lee quickly scans the report then signs the contract without reading it. Three weeks after Lee moves in, the garage blows over in a storm with the debris hitting three windows of the house that then broke. Several other windows in the house fall out of their frames and the shed loses its roof. Lee’s new neighbour offers his sympathies for the damage and says Mary only just managed to stop the shed blowing over in the last storm and, in the same storm, the front door of the house blew in.  

When Lee contacts Mary, he discovers she was dismissed from her position as building inspector when her manager discovered she did not have the necessary qualifications to do the job. He also discovered that neither the garage nor the shed were supposed to be on the property and were not well built. The council is now demanding he demolish the two buildings. Further, he discovers that he paid Joanna her inspection fee.

  • Advise Lee whether he can sue Mary. If he can, what are the grounds on  which he can sue and why? Use decided cases and legal principles to support your answer.
  • Are there any defences that Mary might use against any claims made against her by Lee? Use decided cases and legal principles to support your answer.


Explain the meaning and implications of the following terms and concepts. In your answers, also identify and describe the legal framework(s) that affect or incorporate them (so, if you were asked to describe bills of exchange, you would define and explain a chose in action, negotiability and the Bills of Exchange Act 1909).

  1. Intangible personal property (choses in action)
  2. Security Interests
  3. Perfection
  4. The Mirror Principle
  5. Grantor
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