July 23, 2024

Home Inspection

Home Inspection, Primary Monitoring for Your Home

Real estate agent Julie Bundock had a relationship with client before she accidentally torched his $3.2M home before an open house inspection

4 min read

The real estate agent who accidentally burned down a $3.2million home before an open house inspection had previously been in a relationship with the owner, court documents reveal.

Julie Bundock’s employer, Domain Residential Northern Beaches, was ordered to pay $862,315 to the owner and four tenants for negligently causing a fire which burnt the house to the ground.

It can now be revealed that Ms Bundock was previously in a relationship with Peter Bush, who was preparing to sell the home at the time of the incident, news.com.au reported. 

When she was being cross-examined by Mr Bush’s lawyer Dominic Priestley SC, Ms Bundock said the pair had been in a relationship when they were younger and were still friends in 2019.

Ms Bundock is not accused of any criminal wrongdoing and there is no suggestion she acted with malicious intent when she accidentally caused the fire.

Northern beaches real estate agent Julie Bundock accidentally burned down the Avalon Beach home

Northern beaches real estate agent Julie Bundock accidentally burned down the Avalon Beach home

Julie Bundock was preparing for an open house at a four-bedroom home on Sydney's prestigious northern beaches when she noticed the current renters had left some bedding on the deck to dry

Julie Bundock was preparing for an open house at a four-bedroom home on Sydney’s prestigious northern beaches when she noticed the current renters had left some bedding on the deck to dry

Earlier this week, Daily Mail Australia revealed that Ms Bundock is herself the owner of two coastal properties.

The northern beaches real estate agent accidentally torched the Avalon Beach home in 2019 after she noticed the current renters had left some bedding on the deck to dry.

She threw the sheets onto a shelf in a downstairs room and then turned on a light that was positioned above the shelf.

Twenty minutes later a fire took hold and destroyed the entire home. It is believed the light heated the bedding until it ignited.

Ms Bundock, who no longer works for Domain Residential Northern Beaches, has a vast property portfolio on Sydney’s north shore.

She is the owner of a two-bedroom Queenscliff unit boasting panoramic views of the nearby beach.

She purchased the clifftop property in 2004 for a mere $785,000 and now leases the unit on holiday rental website Stayz for $695 a night.

‘A very private and peaceful setting being the highest point on the hill, enjoy the sounds of the waves and take in the sunrises over the ocean and stunning sunsets over the hills,’ she describes on the property listing.

‘Luxuriously appointed with designer finishes, newly renovated with luxury carpets and open plan living flowing through glass sliding doors to an extensive wrap around balcony.

‘Designer kitchen and bathroom, king size main, very comfortable second, views and built-ins to both. Sep WC with basin. Study, unlimited Wifi, washer dryer, lock up garage with auto door.’ 

She is also the owner of nearby property in Dee Why which she purchased in 2007 for $290,000. 

The view from Ms Bundock’s Queenscliff unit

She is the owner of a two-bedroom Queenscliff unit boasting panoramic views of the nearby beach

She is the owner of a two-bedroom Queenscliff unit boasting panoramic views of the nearby beach

Ms Bundock on a trip to Jervis Bay

Ms Bundock on a trip to Jervis Bay

Ms Bundock is no stranger to living luxuriously. 

On social media she shares photos from holidays to Vincentia in Jervis Bay and lavish trips to the snow.

On Tuesday, Avalon property owner Peter Bush took a complaint to court, alongside the four tenants who lost everything in the 2019 fire.

Mr Bush told the court that Ms Bundock said words to the effect of: ‘Oh my God Pete, I think I have burnt down your house,’ and did so in the presence of others.

‘I had been doing some tidying up. I collected some sheets drying on the veranda and threw them on top of a free-standing metal shelving in the bedroom under the stairs,’ Ms Bundock reportedly told Mr Bush.

The home, which is estimated to be worth about $3million, along with all of its contents, were destroyed in the fire

The home, which is estimated to be worth about $3million, along with all of its contents, were destroyed in the fire

The real estate agency was ordered to pay more than $850,000 in damages after a high-flying agent accidentally burnt a multi-million dollar home to the ground just minutes before an open house

The real estate agency was ordered to pay more than $850,000 in damages after a high-flying agent accidentally burnt a multi-million dollar home to the ground just minutes before an open house

Bundock¿s employer Domain Residential Northern Beaches was ordered to pay owner Peter Alan Bush for damages plus interest

Bundock’s employer Domain Residential Northern Beaches was ordered to pay owner Peter Alan Bush for damages plus interest

‘I just threw them there Pete, right up against the light on the wall. I think that’s what started the fire.’

In court on Tuesday, Ms Bundock’s employer argued the four tenants renting the property at the time were to blame for the fire.

The defence stated the tenants had left the home ‘untidy’, forcing Ms Bundock to remove the bedding from the deck ahead of the open house.

During her cross-examination, Ms Bundock said the house was ‘particularly messy’ on the day and that she was making it ‘presentable for sale’. 

Chief Judge in Equity Justice David Hammerschlag ruled that Ms Bundock ‘actively created the risk of fire and the consequent harm’.

‘That a fire might be caused by putting or throwing bedding up against a burning light is obvious. That risk was plainly foreseeable, and Bundock ought to have known this,’ Hammerschlag said in his decision, also noting the agent was an ‘aggressive and uncooperative witness’.

‘Her evidence was clearly coloured by a heightened awareness that she had caused the catastrophe,’ he stated.

Mr Hammerschlag ordered Ms Bundock’s employer to pay Mr Bush $740,642 for the loss of his house and a combined $121,475 to the four tenants, plus interest.

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