O'Brien Real Estate Pty Ltd and Jerry Caleca - Enforceable undertaking

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Date
12 January 2017
Category
Enforceable undertakings

A Croydon estate agency will contribute $45,000 to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund, after acknowledging contraventions of Victorian consumer and property laws relating to property sales.

The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has accepted undertakings from O'Brien Real Estate Croydon Pty Ltd (ACN 150 146 008) and its sole director, Mr Jerry Caleca, for making false or misleading representations about the sale price of a number of properties.

We commenced an investigation after receiving a complaint alleging that an agent's representative at the company was misleading potential buyers by advertising a property at a price that was less than the vendor's price.

We found that seven properties in Croydon, Mooroolbark, Chirnside Park and Wonga Park were advertised with a price range lower than what was listed as the vendor's price on the sales authority. We also found that four of the properties were advertised at a price that was less than the agent's estimated selling price.

Our Director considers that the company has engaged in conduct that was misleading and deceptive, or likely to mislead or deceive, and has contravened the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria).

O'Brien Real Estate acknowledged that it had contravened sections of the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria) and the Estate Agents Act 1980.

As well as the $45,000 contribution to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund, Mr Caleca, 49, of Croydon Hills, offered an undertaking to our Director that, at its own expense, the company will:

  • establish a compliance program within three months of the undertaking, and maintain the compliance program for three years. Mr Caleca must also provide our Director with a signed affidavit verifying that the compliance program has been implemented
  • display a public notice stating its contraventions:
    • on the company website (www.methven.com.au), and
    • at or near the reception desk of each of its existing or new premises from which the company carries on real estate services.

This public notice will be displayed within 14 days of the undertaking and remain displayed for three months.

This enforceable undertaking will be in effect for three years.

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