UniLodge Australia Pty Ltd (UniLodge) (ACN: 078 921 169) has agreed to contribute almost $90,000 to the Residential Tenancies Fund and Victorian Consumer Law Fund, for contravening consumer and tenancy laws.
Consumer Affairs Victoria received a complaint about a UniLodge property leasing hostel beds and serviced apartments in Melbourne’s CBD, alleging that residents were asked to pay their bond to UniLodge instead of to the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority (RTBA), because UniLodge did not lodge bonds with the RTBA for that property.
During our investigation, we identified a number of issues regarding UniLodge’s rental agreements and its failure to lodge bonds.
UniLodge acknowledges that it contravened the Australian Consumer Law (Victoria) and the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (RTA) when it:
- failed to lodge bonds with the RTBA
- made false or misleading representations in residents' agreements about their rights under the RTA in relation to the lease of hostel rooms and apartments in the property.
The Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria has accepted undertakings from UniLodge that it will:
- contribute $47,024.80 to the Residential Tenancies Fund within 60 days from the undertaking’s start date. This equates to a repayment of all interest monies earned by the company when it accepted bonds into its bank account from 9 July 2008 to 20 February 2015
- make an additional contribution of $40,000 to the Victorian Consumer Law Fund, to address its failure to comply with consumer and tenancy laws, within 60 days from the undertaking’s start date
- continue to engage, and cause its subsidiaries to continue to engage, a licensed estate agent to undertake work in relation to all Victorian student accommodation premises that are subject to the RTA and owned or leased by UniLodge or its subsidiaries.
Licensed estate agencies, College House Management Pty Ltd and 746 Student Services Pty Ltd – which manage apartments and hostels in the building on behalf of UniLodge – have also signed enforceable undertakings.
You can also view the College House Management Pty Ltd - Enforceable Undertaking page and our 746 Student Services Pty Ltd - Enforceable undertaking page.
Download the full text:
UniLodge Australia Pty Ltd – Enforceable undertaking (Word, 96KB)
UniLodge Australia Pty Ltd – Enforceable undertaking (PDF, 2.3MB)