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Real Estate Agent Misconduct: Can I Sue My Agent for Professional Negligence?

It’s common to place a significant amount of trust in the hands of real estate agents. Tenants depend on landlords and their real estate agents to act in their best interest, and guarantee the safety of both themselves and their guests in the property where they live. If realtors fail in their legal duty to offer a minimum standard of competence, leading to harm and loss, filing a professional negligence claim may be warranted.

This article explains what professional negligence claims are, how they work, the agent’s legal obligations, and what you may be entitled to in compensation.

What can I sue my landlord or real estate agent for?

Professional negligence, in this context, is defined as the failure by a real estate professional — or of a real estate practice — to exercise reasonable care and skill when performing their duties. If you have suffered a personal injury because of a landlord, estate agent, or building manager’s negligence, you may qualify to file a claim if they did not:

  • Disclose known property defects.
  • Perform regular inspections to maintain premises safety.
  • Implement preventive measures to avoid accidents.
  • Promptly address defects within a reasonable period.


If your real estate agent’s negligent, incompetent, and/or deceptive conduct has resulted in loss (whether financial, physical or emotional), you likely have grounds to pursue professional negligence compensation. The compensation you’re entitled to depends on three main factors:

  1. The nature of your injury or loss: (i.e., psychological harm, physical harm, financial loss, etc).
  2. The extent of your injury or loss: (i.e., a partial impairment or a permanent impairment).
  3. State-specific legislation.


As a general framework, compensation falls into two overarching categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Compensation for economic damages refers to the reimbursement — either periodic or lump sum, depending on the case — that covers the financial losses directly related to the negligence. This could include the costs associated with loss of income, future earning potential, additional living expenses, past and future medical expenses, and repair costs for property damage.

Non-economic damages are what your solicitor may refer to as ‘pain and suffering’ compensation. This form of payment covers the psychological distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and other emotional impacts that — while they don’t have a direct financial cost associated with them — significantly affect the claimant’s quality of life.

Notably, if the agent’s actions were particularly reprehensible and egregious, you may be entitled to punitive damages — a form of compensation intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future.

Filing a claim against your real estate agent

If you’re considering filing a professional negligence claim, whether against an agent or real estate institute, the first step is to reach out and book a free consultation with a specialised personal injury lawyer.

During your consultation, your solicitor will examine your unique situation and provide you with the best legal pathways forward. Your personal injury lawyer will let you know how strong your case may be, the likelihood of its success, compensation expectations, process logistics, and next steps.

Your professional negligence lawyer will also help you collect evidence to support your claim. The evidence gathered may include financial records highlighting losses, photographs of property damages, communication records with the real estate agent, expert evaluations of the property before and after the purchase, and any other accessible documentation that can substantiate your claim.

Our free consultation is non-obligatory, meaning you’re under no pressure to proceed with us — or proceed at all — unless you feel completely comfortable and confident moving forward.

You're in Safe Hands

Do you want to learn more about filing a compensation claim? Call us for confidential, free advice.

Case summary: Tenant secures compensation for injuries resulting from neglected property hazards

A real estate agent, serving as the property manager for a unit’s owner (who is also a defendant), was involved in a claim brought by our client under a residential tenancy agreement. While lawfully on the premises, our client slipped on a pool of water that had leaked from the shower onto the floor — resulting in serious injuries. These included a left knee injury, a back injury, lacerations to her ring finger that resulted in significant blood loss, and psychological trauma. Moreover, our client required hospitalisation and surgery on her right ring finger.

GMP Law’s Approach

We alleged negligence against both the unit owner and the real estate agent for failing to ensure the premises were safe, habitable, and in good repair. Despite more than one complaint from our client about the leaky shower recess, both defendants had neglected to make necessary repairs to prevent the water leak.

We supported our case with photographs, expert evidence, and referred our client to medical specialists to document the extent of her injuries and ongoing disabilities, including permanent impairments to her right hand, lower back, and left knee.

Despite initial denials of liability and disputes over medical evidence from the defendants, the case was set for a hearing. However, before the hearing took place, all parties agreed to an informal settlement conference — leading to the resolution of our client’s claims for damages. Our client’s compensation covered the following damages:

  • Non-economic loss.
  • Permanent impairment.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Past and future medical expenses.
  • Loss of wages and superannuation.
  • Care needs, both past and future.


If you’ve suffered due to the negligence of an agent or real estate business, speak with our team at GMP Law. Our free, non-obligation consultation is an opportunity to ask any questions you may have, consider your legal options, and become better informed as to what compensation you may be entitled to.

Book a consultation online, or simply call us on 1800 004 878.


More Case Summaries

About Us
Gerard Malouf & Partners have provided friendly, experienced legal advice to communities across Australia for over 35 years. Our Personal Injury Lawyers have taken on ten’s of thousands of cases and we are proud to have won billions of dollars for our clients.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.
Meet the diverse and dynamic team of compensation lawyers and supporting staff that have made this all happen below. Our multi-lingual team can discuss your claims in Arabic, Assyrian, Turkish, Greek, Italian, French, Serbian, Croatian, Armenian, Mandarin, Hindi, Punjabi or Malayalam.

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