The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has commenced action in the Federal Court of Australia against Hoskins (Maroondah) Pty Ltd ACN: 095 367 712 and its director Brent Robert Peters, for allegedly engaging in misleading and deceptive practices and unconscionable conduct relating to the sale of land.
Consumer Affairs Victoria will allege that during 2015 and 2016, Hoskins advertised properties for sale at prices much lower than it believed they would actually sell for.
The alleged conduct relates to 26 residential properties located in Croydon, Croydon Hills, Croydon North, Mooroolbark, Park Orchards, Ringwood, Ringwood North, Warranwood and Wonga Park.
Further, Consumer Affairs Victoria will allege Hoskins misled two vendors it was acting for, by telling them their properties would sell for much less than it believed they would sell for, in order to claim ‘incentive commissions’ from the vendors when the properties sold at a much higher price. Such conduct, it is alleged, was also unconscionable.
Consumer Affairs Victoria will allege Hoskins contravened section 18 of the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits misleading or deceptive conduct in trade and commerce, section 30 of the Australian Consumer Law, which prohibits false or misleading representations in connection to the sale and promotion of land, and section 21 of the Australian Consumer Law which prohibits unconscionable conduct.
Consumer Affairs Victoria will also allege Mr Peters aided and abetted the company’s conduct.
The court action has resulted from the work of Consumer Affairs Victoria's underquoting taskforce, Taskforce Vesta.