Action on underquoting, increased services for vulnerable Victorians and a new building dispute resolution service are among the success stories highlighted in the latest Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) annual report.
Acting Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria Elizabeth Lanyon said the 2016-17 annual report tabled in parliament today demonstrates CAV's commitment to a fair and competitive marketplace.
"Our action on underquoting led to six estate agents signing enforceable undertakings and we currently have five ongoing cases before the Federal Court of Victoria and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal," Dr Lanyon said.
"This proactive approach to enforcement combined with new underquoting laws is helping consumers participate in the property market with confidence.
"A review of our Tenancy and Consumer Program led to a 30 per cent increase in funding for our services to assist vulnerable and disadvantaged tenants and consumers.
"We also funded 10 full-time equivalent family violence financial counsellors in line with recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence."
"The launch of Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) has helped builders and home owners resolve disputes without the costs associated with courts and tribunals.
"The need for an independent, no cost service to resolve disputes has been demonstrated by the high level of demand experienced by DBDRV since opening in April this year."
Other achievements highlighted by the annual report include:
- The commencement of a new licensing scheme for rooming house operators to improve professionalism and protect vulnerable residents.
- Substantial legislative reform, including reviews of the Residential Tenancies Act 1997, consumer property laws and national consumer protection laws.
- The launch of a new online tool to help Victorians planning to build their own home find the right advice.
- Upgrading the CAV website to improve accessibility for those with vision impairments and language barriers.
- CAV responded to almost 60,000 written and online queries and provided assistance to over 325,000 callers through its telephone service.
- CAV supported 31,000 Victorians through its financial counselling service.
For more information, view our Annual report 2016-17.