Consumer Affairs Victoria has suspended the licences of a boutique agency and its director.
Boris Real Estate Pty Ltd and its director Suzanne Zvizdalo had their licences suspended following allegations from landlords that they had not paid rental arrears and other alleged contraventions of the Estate Agents Act 1980.
Consumer Affairs Victoria is notifying landlords and tenants affected by the suspension, and will provide information to help them make alternative arrangements.
Both landlords and tenants may be able to claim on the Victorian Property Fund for financial losses should the agent be found to have breached the law.
Landlords are now required to find a new managing agent. Consumer Affairs has also told landlords to collect documentation related to Boris Real Estate's management of their property to help with potential claims and other matters. This may include:
- The document authorising Boris Real Estate to manage the property (engagement authority)
- Any statements issued to the landlord by Boris Real Estate or Ms Zvizdalo
- Bank statements that show payment or non-payment history
Tenants have been ordered to stop paying rent to Boris Real Estate and wait for directions from their landlord about where to pay the money. If a property requires repairs, tenants should contact the landlord directly, or a new agent if appointed.
The director has applied to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for a disciplinary inquiry into the conduct of the licensees.