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Money Developer Matthew Hyder and wife lose stoush with McGrath over $9.4 million mansion

13:11  04 december  2017
13:11  04 december  2017 Source:   smh.com.au

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Texan property developer Matthew Hyder stood by the pool in the lush garden of a Bellevue Hill mansion and considered buying it. Mrs Hyder , in whose name the house was purchased, sued McGrath in the NSW Supreme Court over "misleading and deceptive conduct".

Developer Matthew Hyder and wife lose stoush with McGrath over $ 9 . 4 million mansion .

The $9.4 million Bellevue Hill mansion at the centre of a NSW Supreme Court case.© Provided by Sydney Morning Herald The $9.4 million Bellevue Hill mansion at the centre of a NSW Supreme Court case.

Texan property developer Matthew Hyder stood by the pool in the lush garden of a Bellevue Hill mansion and considered buying it.

The luxury property, for sale by banker Edward Jewell-Tait in October 2014, was advertised as a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house, with a double garage, close to Double Bay shops, and within "strolling distance" of Scots and Cranbrook private schools.

The listing by McGrath real estate also advertised private off-street and driveway parking, something Mr Hyder and his wife told the agent worked perfectly because their housekeeper could park there and "one day our three kids will have cars and will need a place to park".

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Mr Hyder, the chief executive of Sydney's Legacy Property, was at a charity dinner in Darling Harbour with his wife Amy when she initialled documents confirming the $9.4 million purchase price.

When the family settled into the home, after renovations and a holiday, labourers working at a neighbour's property on the sprawling battleaxe block parked their trucks in the parking area marked "private".

The neighbour told Mr Hyder the area was legally a right of way on the shared driveway, and not for his family's exclusive use.

Mrs Hyder, in whose name the house was purchased, sued McGrath in the NSW Supreme Court over "misleading and deceptive conduct".

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Her case claimed the Hyders suffered a loss due to the inaccurate description about private parking in McGrath's advertisements, and alleged the property was worth less than what they paid.

Last week Justice Guy Parker found McGrath's conduct in claiming the parking spaces were private was misleading and deceptive, but the agents were using the vendor's information.

Justice Parker dismissed the proceedings, and ordered Mrs Hyder pay McGrath's legal costs.

The judge found the right of way was disclosed in the contract, and was the subject of advice from the Hyders' solicitor and a valuer.

The Hyders failed to take "reasonable care" of their own interests in buying the property, and that was the more immediate cause of their loss, rather than McGrath's actions, the judge found

When asked why the family bought the property for $9.4 million, above the $9 million their valuer nominated, Mr Hyder told court: "Because my wife loved the property".

Justice Parker said It was Mrs Hyder's "emotional reaction" that led them to buy the property.

"That emotional reaction would have derived from features such as its aspect and its potential as a family home rather than the number of parking spaces," he said.

If the judge had awarded damages to Mrs Hyder, compensation would have been $150,000 plus stamp duty, but discounted by two-thirds because of "contributory negligence".

"In my opinion, a reasonable purchaser of property, particularly of this value, who was purchasing because of supposed rights to park in the 'private parking' area would have sought specific advice on his entitlement to do so."

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