Former estate agency Burke Property Management and its two directors have given an undertaking to the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria to stop operating as estate agents for five years, after they contravened Victorian estate agent and renting laws.
The Collingwood company’s sole business was managing a block of units in that suburb, predominantly used for student accommodation.
Acting on a complaint, Consumer Affairs Victoria’s investigation found that company director and agent’s representative Geoffrey John Ogge, 75, was accepting bond money into his personal bank account before sending it on to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA) at the start of a tenancy.
Similarly, Mr Ogge was accepting bond returns into his private bank account before transferring it to tenants. Under the law, bond money cannot be held in an agent’s private bank account at any time.
As the officer in effective control, fellow director Michael John Meehan, 76, acknowledged that he had contravened the Estate Agents Act 1980 by not adequately supervising the company’s business.
Mr Meehan and Mr Ogge also acknowledged they had knowingly provided false and misleading information to the RTBA by lodging bond claim forms that stated the landlord/agent was to receive no part of the bond when, in fact, the agent received the entire amount.
Under the terms of the enforceable undertaking:
- Mr Meehan and Burke Property Management agree to not reapply for a Victorian estate agent’s licence for five years
- Burke Property Management, Mr Meehan and Mr Ogge agree to not carry on or be involved in the business of an estate agent for five years
- Mr Meehan and Mr Ogge acknowledge that they may face court action if they breach any terms of the undertaking.
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Burke Property Management Pty Ltd, Michael John Meehan and Geoffrey John Ogge - Enforceable undertaking (Word, 204KB)
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