The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has begun civil proceedings against estate agency Hoskins (Maroondah) Pty Ltd (ACN: 095 367 712), in the Federal Court of Australia, for alleged contraventions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) in relation to property sales.
Our Director will allege that, at various times throughout 2015-16, the company:
- engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct towards potential property purchasers and two vendors who were clients of Hoskins
- made false or misleading representations to potential property purchasers and two vendors who were clients of Hoskins
- engaged in unconscionable conduct towards two vendors who were clients of Hoskins.
Our Director will allege that Hoskins (Maroondah):
- advertised 26 properties for sale at prices lower than the company believed they would actually sell for
- misled two vendors it was acting for, by telling them their properties would sell for much less than the company believed they would - in order to claim ‘incentive commissions’ when the properties sold at a much higher price.
Our Director will also allege that the company’s director, Brent Robert Peters, 43, of Croydon Hills, aided and abetted the company’s conduct.
The properties were located in Croydon, Croydon Hills, Croydon North, Mooroolbark, Park Orchards, Ringwood, Ringwood North, Warranwood and Wonga Park.
We are seeking orders that the company:
- pays a financial penalty, plus legal costs
- be restrained from repeating this conduct in the future
- implements a compliance program to educate its staff about their ACL obligations to ensure no further contraventions of the relevant provisions occur
- refund two vendors a total of around $25,000
- publish details of any court orders on its website and display it in its office.