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Property company taken to court for alleged ‘misleading, deceptive, unconscionable’ conduct

By Tim Neary
30 April 2019 | 10 minute read
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The ACCC has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against a property company, alleging that it has been involved in unconscionable and false, misleading or deceptive conduct.

The ACCC has instituted proceedings against Quantum Housing Group relating to matters associated with the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).

The ACCC alleges that Quantum’s director, Cheryl Howe, was involved in the conduct.

Quantum is an approved participant of the NRAS, meaning that it is entitled to receive incentives under the NRAS and is responsible for ensuring NRAS dwellings are compliant with the scheme.

The ACCC alleges that from February 2017 to July 2018, Quantum pressured property investors participating in the NRAS to terminate the arrangements with their existing property managers and to retain property managers recommended or approved by Quantum and which had commercial links to Quantum.

It is also alleged that Quantum made false or misleading representations to investors and property managers about its own rights, as well as the potential losses investors would face if they did not use Quantum’s approved property managers.

Quantum also issued guidelines to investors and their existing property managers setting out how property managers could become approved by Quantum. The guidelines required property managers to pay a $10,000 deposit to Quantum for each NRAS property they managed.

The ACCC alleges that Quantum did not receive a security deposit from the property managers it recommended.

“Payment of the $10,000 per property would mean that managing any NRAS property would have been completely unviable for many property managers,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.

“Quantum’s alleged conduct meant that investors could not select a property manager who best suited their needs, and many property managers suffered a significant loss of business as a result.”

The ACCC is seeking financial penalties, injunctions, declarations and banning orders against Ms Howe.

Property company taken to court for alleged ‘misleading, deceptive, unconscionable’ conduct
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