Solicitor warns property advice is ‘misleading’

A TAMWORTH solicitor warned property owners against relying on Mr Lobsey’s exclusion notices, particularly in the face of potential legal action.

The solicitor, who asked not to be named, described the notice as “misleading” for suggesting every property owner who erects one has an order from the High Court.

He said the issue was not one of implied consent, as Mr Lobsey suggested, but of authority to enter.

“For starters, there’s no court seal on the notice and I doubt every person in possession of a notice has taken a particular authority all the way to the High Court to enforce their rights,” he said.

“And one of the cases cited on the notice (Plenty v Dillon) does not, in fact, preclude anyone from entering your land under any circumstances.

“There is no form of exclusion notice you can get that can operate against all people at all times.

“Yes, the High Court says unauthorised entry is a trespass but you can’t waive an exclusion notice in front of someone with the proper authority and expect them to leave.”

He agreed with Mr Lobsey that property owners could exclude unauthorised persons from their land but said it was important not to confuse authority with the consent of the owner.

“You can simply tell the unauthorised person they’re no longer welcome and they should leave,” he said.

“Just because you have a badge doesn’t necessarily mean you have the right to enter a property. A council officer, for example, should be in possession of an authority and produce it if required – if they don’t, they are guilty of an offence.”

But if someone has authority to enter your property, they will walk right past an exclusion notice, he said.

The solicitor refuted Mr Lobsey’s claims that common law always overrode statute law.

“You can have statutes that completely override common law,” he said.

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