The director of a property maintenance and management company will face court for allegedly accepting thousands of dollars in payments from contractors to refer work to them, failing to provide them with leads he had promised, and failing to provide refunds.
Christopher Michael and Australian Property Management Solutions (APMS) Pty Ltd (ACN 602 464 700), allegedly accepted payment from 12 people for $30,000 worth of completed work orders within a 12-month period, in return for a $2,035 fee for registering with the company as a contractor.
APMS describes itself as ‘a multi-disciplined property maintenance and management company with specialised services in consulting, advisory services, service management, resourcing and vendor management.’
The work APMS offered failed to materialise, and the contractors received no refunds for the money they had paid, despite Mr Michael and the company promising to provide them.
We commenced action against 48-year-old Mr Michael, of Bentleigh East, after a referral from the Victorian Small Business Commission and a series of consumer complaints. The alleged offences took place between August 2018 and October 2021.
The charges Mr Michael and APMS face include:
- accepting payment for services and failing to supply within the period specified, within reasonable time, or at all
- accepting payment for services, and at the time of the acceptance, being reckless as to whether they would be able to supply the services within the period specified, or within a reasonable time
- making a false or misleading representation concerning the existence of a guarantee
- making a false or misleading representation that services were of a particular value, and
- misleading the public as to the suitability for their purpose of services on APMS’s website.
Consumer Affairs Victoria Director Nicole Rich said businesses needed to understand and meet their legal obligations, regardless of who they provided their goods or services to.
`Small businesses, sole traders and contractors are also considered consumers under the Australian Consumer Law in certain circumstances, and entitled to the same protections,’ Ms Rich said.
The matter is listed for a committal mention on 24 October at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.